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Their History, People, Commerce, and Industrial Resources 

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HE issue of this volume to the public at the present juncture, when the problem of the 
future of the Empire is receiving the special attention of Imperial statesmen, calls for no 
apology. Never was there a time when the fullest information in regard to all component 
parts of the vast territories that owe allegiance to the British Crown was more needed ; 
never was there an occasion which more insistently called for the production of the 
amplest material which may throw a light on the complex questions of commercial polity, 
the supreme importance of which has been so abundantly demonstrated in the Great War. 
We are at the parting of the ways in Imperial policy, and upon the decisions taken will 
depend the future destinies of all the great communities of the far-flung British possessions. As an aid to that 
"thinking Imperially" which is the first essential to a successful handling of the questions which are now 
clamouring for settlement, this volume may reasonably claim to have a distinct purpose. It is one of a 
series of publications commenced some years ago with the object of supplying the British public with a 
picture — complete as far as literary and pictorial effort could make it— of the several different parts of the 
Empire. In turn the compilers have prepared volumes dealing with British East Africa and Uganda, Cape 
Colony and the Orange Free State, New Zealand and Southern India, and now in this work they have essayed 
a survey of Bengal and Assam, Behar and Orissa. 

In the present book, as in the companion volume dealing with Southern India, the aim kept in view has 
been to compile a work on broad and independent lines. While it embodies material of a character commonly 
associated with the admirable works issued from time to time under oflicial auspices, it also embraces literary 
and popular features not found in those productions, and it has, besides, an immense amount of information 
relative to the purely commercial aspects of life, which are not touched either in oflicial works or in the 
volumes descriptive of India which have a popular character. Moreover, the pages are illustrated by a wealth 
of pictorial matter absolutely without precedent in any literary undertaking dealing with the Indian Empire. 
These features, literary, artistic- and utilitarian, it is believed from the experience gained elsewhere, and from 
the extremely favourable reception accorded to "Southern India," will ensure for it a friendly welcome from 
the Indian public, and ultimately a recognized place in the bibliography of that great Dependency. 

This prefatory note would not be complete without a reference to the valuable assistance which the 
compiler has received from all classes -oflicial and unoflicial— in the territory covered by his operations. 
Without the aid so freely and generously extended it would have been impossible to produce the work in any- 
thing approaching the completeness which it is hoped now characterizes it. In another part of the volume 
special acknowledgment is made of the assistance rendered in individual cases in India itself, but the opportunity 
offered by these opening sentences cannot be allowed to pass without paying a tribute to the kindness of the 


tBrnauo Kummm ^ m sM 


India Council in permitting a reproduction of a selection of pictures from the unique collection at the India 
Office. These works, as our readers will be able to note, are of great artistic and antiquarian value, and give 
llimpces of bygone days in India that are extremely fascinating. The processes of reproduction, necessarily 
elaborate and protracted, were greatly facilitated by the arrangements made by Mr. F. W. Thomas, the 
librarian, whose kindly assistance on this and other occasions the editor desires to acknowledge. 

A final sentence or two must be devoted to the difficulties under which the work has been produced. 
The Great War has had its influence on India as on other parts of the Empire, and the work of the compilers' 
tiall has been impeded at many points by the exigencies of the war period. The delays and obstructions 
encountered in India have had their counterpart in the exceptional conditions prevailing at home owing to the 
war. Not only was the printing of the book made extraordinarily di6ficult by the enormous depletion of the staHf 
of the printers by the war, but the problem of providing paper was a most serious one for a time. Happily 
it was ultimately possible to overcome all these obstacles, and to produce the book in a manner equal to the 
high artistic standard established in earlier works of the series. The delay in the publication will, it is hoped, 
be overlooked as the inevitable outcome of a period of unexampled strain and difficulty. 



Bengal — Early axd Later History. By Arnold Wright 

Native Races. By L. S. S. O'Malley, I.C.S., Fellow of the Royal Anthropological 

Institute ................ 

The Vegetation of Bengal, Assam, Behar and Orissa. By Humphrey G. Carter, 

M.B., Ch.B., Officiating Director, Botanical Survey of India 

The City of Calcutta ■ 

Commerce and Industries. By J. A. Sandbrook, Editor of the "Englishman" . 

Mica (p. 211). 
Shellac (p. 218). 


Indigo in Behar. By D. J. Reid 

Behar and Orissa 

Early Histoky. By Arnold Wright (p. 259). 
The Provin'ce of Behar axu Orissa (p. 260). 
The Behak Planters' Association, Ltd. By The Hon. T. R. Filgate, CLE. (p. 26S) 


The Bengal-Nagpur Railway Company, Ltd. (p. 352). 

The East Indian Railway (p. 358). 

The Eastern Bengal Railway (p. 363). 

The Assam-Bengal Railway Company, Ltd. (p. 369). 

The Tea Industry of Bengal and Assam. By G. D. Hope, B.Sc, Ph.D., F.C.S., 
Chief Scientific Officer, Indian Tea Association 

The Province of Assam 

Early History. By Arnold Wright (p. 410). 

Indian Nobility 

The State of Cooch Behar (p. 437I. 

The Tripura (Hill Tippera) State. By E. F. Sandys (p. 458). 

The Native State of Manipur (p. 483). 











Sport .... 

The Tcrf (p. 609). 

Polo (p. 6i6). 

Athletics (p. 619). 
Sugar. By Wynne Sayer, B.A., Assistant to the Agricultural Adviser, Government of 


Fauna. By VV. M. Nuttai-l ^3i 

, 641 

Jute ^ 

Calcutta Industries °-l'5 

The Agricultural Research Institute and College, Pusa. By Wynne Sayer, B.A., 

Assistant to the Agricultural Adviser, Government of India 692 

The Port of Calcutta 7o8 

Press 728 

The Foreign and Colonial Compiling and Publishing Company (p. 730) 

The Fisheries of Bengal and Behar and Okissa. By T. Southwell, A.R.C.Sc. 
(London), F.Z.S., National Scholar, 1902 ; Deputy Director of Fisheries, Bengal 
and Behar and Orissa; Honorary Assistant, Indian Museum ; Late Scientific Adviser 
and Inspector of Pearl Banks to the Ceylon Company of Pearl Fishers ... 733 

The Bengal Presidency 74 1 

Concluding Note 762 

Glossary ■ • 7^4 

Index 765 


t'hoto by Johmtfti Or Hoffmann, Cakutta. 


photo by Bourne &• Shepherd, India, 






Hindu and Mahommedan Ascendancy 

Origins of the population — Early dynasties — The Buddhist 
kings— Supplanted by the Sen line of Hindu mon- 
archs — Rise of Mahommedan inHucnce — Mahom- 
medan dynasty established independent of Delhi— 
Shcr Shah's conquest of Bengal— Annexation of 
Bengal by Akbar — Bengal under governors appointed 
by the Mogul emperors. 

ENGAL shares to a 
very large extent in 
the historical tradi- 
tions of the northern 
parts of India. The 
movements of popu- 
lation which settled 
the ethnological cha- 
racteristics of those areas largely affected 
the province, and it was conspicuously 
associated with the great religious de- 
velopments which so profoundly in- 
fluenced the life history of the people. 
Generally speaking, the population of 
Bengal is of Dravidian and Aryan origin, 
though on the eastern side there are 
marked Mongoloid elements, pointing to 
a close association of those tracts with 
the stream of immigration which settled 
the character of Burma and the other 
parts of Further India. The Aryan immi- 
gration is that which has left its deepest 


mark upon the life and literature of 

A heavy mist obscures the early 
dyn:istic history of Bengal. It seems 
probable that for a good many centuries 
the province consisted of a number of 
independent and mutually warring States. 
In the earliest period of the Christian 
era North and East Bengal with Assam 
formed the important kingdom of 
Pragjyotisha, or Kamapura, as it was 
subsequently called. This territory was 
ruled over by a succession of Mongoloid 
princes, whose line was still powerful 
when Hiuen Tsiang, the Chinese pilgrim, 
visited the coimtry in the seventh 
century. Another early kingdom was 
Pundra, or Paundravardhana, the country 
of the Pods, -which is thought to have 
given the name to the modern Pabna. 
References to it are found in Hiuen 
Tsiang's work, and as late as the eleventh 
century we read of it as a place of pil- 
grimage. The other dynastic features of 
early Bengal were Banga or Samatata, 
a kingdom east of Bhagirathi, the home 
of the modern Chandals ; Kama Suvarna 
(Burdwan, Bankura, Murshidabad, and 
Hooghly), associated with Sasanka or 
Narendra, famed in Hindu history as the 


last of the Guptas — the monarch whose 
fanatical zeal on behalf of Hinduism 
prompted him to invade Magadha in the 
seventh century and cut down the sacred 
Bodhi tree ; and, finally, the kingdom of 
Tamralipta, or Suhma, a country which 
comprised what are now the districts of 
Midnapur and Howrah. 

In the ninth century the history of 
Bengal becomes more clearly outlined 
with the accession of the Pal dynasty, 
which, rising to power in the country 
originally styled Anga, finally extended 
its sway over the whole of Behar and 
North Bengal. Buddhist in religion, 
these kings exercised a very benevolent 
sway over the population, and left a dis- 
tinct mark on the country, both as regards 
place-names and the traditions of the 
people. The rising tide of Hinduism 
overwhelmed them in the eleventh cen- 
tury, when they were ousted by the Sen 
dynasty, which had placed itself well 
abreast of the Hindu movement, and by 
its influence had established itself in East 
and deltaic Bengal in the previous cen- 
tury. This dynasty gradually drew to 
itself all the authority in Bengal proper, 
from the Mahananda and the Bhagirathi 
on the west to Karatoya and the old 


Brahmaputra on the east. It was in its 
day a great power in Hinduism. To one 
of its kings, Ballal Sen. belonjjs the fame 
of having reorganized the caste system 
and introduced Kulinism among the Brah- 
mans, Baidyas, and Kayasths. The line 
survived until the period of the Mahom- 
medan invasion in the twelfth century, 
and in a severely reduced form even 
lingered on 150 years later in East 
Bengal, with Bikrampur, in the Dacca 
district, as the capital. 

The Mahommedan influence in Bengal 
dates back to the twelfth century, when, 
in common with the adjacent areas, the 
country was subjected to the inroads of 
the Turki hordes. One of the adven- 
turers, Muhammad-i-Bakh<yar Khiiji, 
after conquering Behar in about 1199, 
took possession of Gaur and Nabadwip, 
and the former became the seat of a line 
of potentates who ruled the country some- 
times with, and sometimes without, the 
overruling authority of the Delhi 
emperors. For two hundred years, from 
the fourteenth to the sixteenth century, 
Bengal was under the sway of succes- 
sive lines of independent kings of a mixed 
origin. Some were Pathans, others were 
Turkis, others, again, were Abyssinian 
eunuchs, and in one instance the ruler 
was a Hindu. In 1539 a new and power- 
ful ruler appeared upon the scene in the 
person of Sher Shah, the famous Afghan 
adventurer, who was to become one of 
the greatest of the early line of emperors 
of Delhi. Sher Shah, in the first years of 
the reign of the Mogul Humayun at Delhi, 
carved out for himself an independent 
position on the borders of Bengal, with 
Chunar as his headquarters. Humayun 
becoming jealous of his power, six years 
after his accession, marched against him, 
and besieged and took his fortress of 
Chunar. Sher Shah himself, however, 
evaded the emperor's attacks, and re- 
tired to Rohtasgarh, in Bengal, which 
he had wrested from its owners. Here 
he successfully withstood a siege, and 
when, at the expiration of six months, 
Humayun retired discomfited to Delhi, 
he ousted the Mogul governor who was 
resident at Gaur, and proclaimed himself 
King of Bengal and Orissa. This was a 
prelude to a still greater triumph in the 
defeat of Humayun at Kanauj and Sher 
Shah's occupation of the Imperial throne, 
from which he had evicted the defeated 
monarch. After Sher Shah's death 
Htmiayun was able to restore ihis 
authority at Delhi, but the position in 
Bengal remained unchanged, a series of 

.Afghan governors upholding the authority 
which Sher Shah had established. In 
1568 Orissa was conquered by Raju, 
better known as Kala Pahar, the general 
of Sulaiman Kararani, a prince who was 
really independent, but who acknow- 
ledged the authority of Akbar. Sulai- 
man's son Daud, when he came into 
authority, followed his father's example, 
and gave in his adhesion to Delhi, but 
he subsequently rebelled, and Akbar, 
seizing an opportunity for which he had 
been waiting, definitely annexed Bengal 
to his empire. Henceforward, until the 
British assumed power, the country was 
under Mogul rule. 

The authority now devolved upon a 
succession of governors and viceroys, who 
wielded authority with varying degrees of 
success. At art early period, owing to 
the incursions of defeated Afghans who 
had taken refuge in Orissa, the capital, 
which had usually been established at 
Gaur or the neigbouring' towns of Pandua 
and Rajniahal, was transferred to Dacca, 
and here it continued for a hundred years, 
at the expiration of which, under the vice- 
royalty of Isniael Khan, the centre of 
government was again removed, this 
time to Murshidabad. The province 
shared in the vicissitudes of the Imperial 
throne. When Shah Jehan revolted 
against his father, the Emperor Jehangir, 
in 1 62 1, he seized Bengal, and held it 
for two years with the aid of Afghan ad- 
venturers. Eventually he was defeated 
and compelled to relinquish his conquest. 
When later he came to the throne he 
established his son, Sultan Shuja, as 
Governor of Bengal. This prince, follow- 
ing the evil precedent of the Imperial 
house, fought against his brother Aurang- 
zebe, and being defeated by his general, 
Mir Jumla, was compelled to fly to 
Arakan, where he died in obscurity. As 
a reward for his services Mir Jumla was 
appointed to Sultan Shuja's place, and 
made an admirable ruler. Mir Jumla 
died near Dacca on March 30, 1663, after 
an arduous campaign in Cooch Behar and 
Assam, in which he had suffered great 
exposure. His successor was Shayista 
Khan, the premier prince of the empire. 
Later, on Aurangzebc's death, the gover- 
norship of Bengal was conferred upon 
Murshid Kuli Khan, a Brahman convert 
to Islam, who had worked his way into 
favour by his commanding talents. This 
worthy, profiting by the weak and divided 
condition of the Imperial family, took to 
himself a considerable amount of power, 
and eventually made himself practically 


independent. Thereafter the authority of 
Delhi was of the smallest, the Governors 
of Bengal being all but in name sovereign 

Rise of European Influence 

The Portuguese in Eastern India — Tlleir setllcmenl at 
Chittagong— Portuguese piracies— Shah Jehan de 
stroys the Portuguese settlement at Hooghly— 
Appearance of the Dutch in: Bengal— Their factories 
at Pipli and Chinsurah — Early English trading expedi- 
tions — Balasar becomes the English headquar:ers — 
English factory establislied at Hooghly— The East 
India Company dispatch a special commission to 
Bengal — Disputes between the Company's officials 
and the Mogul authorities- Sir Edward Winter ad- 
vocates an energetic policy — Growth of Bengal trade 
—Establishment of the Bengal Pilot Service— 
Streynsham Master visits Bengal — He reorganizes the 
English establishments with Hooghly as the head 

Before the Mahommedan domination of 
Bengal had been firmly established a new 
influence had made its appearance, which 
was destined in course of centuries to 
produce a revolutionary change in the 
government and the commercial life of 
the country as of the rest of India. This 
was the European factor, brought into 
existence by Vasco da Gama's epoch- 
making achievement of doubling the Cape 
in 1498. The Portuguese, as the pioneers 
of the new movement, reaped all the early 
advantages that attached to the discovery 
of the sea route to India. For a century 
they enjoyed a practical monopoly of the 
trade, with all that their position of 
splendid isolation implied in the way of 
political power. Though their territorial 
conquests were mainly on the western 
coast, with Goa as a splendid capital, 
Portuguese emissaries penetrated to 
almost every part of the peninsula then 
open to outside influence. As early as 
1530 they began to frequent Bengal, and 
they were not slow to grasp the immense 
potentialities which its trade offered. 
They established themselves firmly at 
Chittagong and Saptagram or Satgaon, 
the foundation of the latter settlement, 
which was in the neighbourhood of the 
modern town of Hooghly, anticipating by 
nearly two centuries the decision of the 
English East India Company to fix their' 
headquarters there, and so to form the 
beginnings of the great city of Calcutta. 
An immense trade was rapidly created 
under Portuguese auspices, with Satgaon, 
or Porto Piqueno, as it was known, aS 
its chief centre on one bank of the river, 
and Betor, near Sabpur, on the other. 
Chittagong also shared in large measure 
in the oversea trading operations initiated 
by the Portuguese, but in course of years 
this port became the refuge of numerous 



adventurers from Goa and other settle- 
ments in the west, and their piracies be- 
came infamous throughout India, largely 
tending to neutralize the success of the 
legitimate commerce which their more 
orderly countrymen carried on. From 
time to time efforts were made by the 
Mogul Government to deal with these 
desperadoes. They managed, however, 
by their knowledge of the sea and their 
superior military talent to evade the 
punishment they so richly deserved until 
1632, when Shah Jehan, enraged beyond 
endurance at the crimes perpetrated, sent 
a big force against the Portuguese settle- 
ment at Hooghly, and when the town had 
been captured caused all its Portuguese 
inhabitants to be transferred to Agra as 
slaves. The disaster practically sealed 
the fate of the Portuguese trade in this 
part of India. With some of the outer 
settlements at the mouth of the river fitful 
relations were maintained by Portuguese 
from Calicut and elsewhere on the Coro- 
mandel coast, but the days of ascendancy 
and even of equality of effort were gone 
never to return. 

The downfall of the Portuguese was 
hastened, if it was not actually caused, 
by the action of the Dutch. From the 
outset of their intervention in Eastern 
trade the Hollanders had constituted 
themselves bitter foes of the Portuguese. 
In the Malayan region and in the Eastern 
Archipelago, as well as in Ceylon and 
Southern India, before the destruction of 
Hooghly by Shah Jehan, they had fought 
an unrelenting fight, driving the descend- 
ants of Albuquerque from one settlement 
after another, until their power was a 
mere shadow of its old self. In Bengal 
the Dutch made their first appearance in 
1625, establishing themselves at Pipli and 
Chinsurah. They were at the time too 
much occupied with the task of consoli- 
dating their positions in other regions of 
the East to give much attention to the 
trade of Eastern India, but their records 
show that they grasped its importance, 
and that if the exigencies of their policy 
had admitted they would have made a 
much stronger bid for supremacy in 
Bengal than they did. Not, however, that 
they were an insignificant element in this 
early struggle for commercial pjedomi- 
nance. They made a great display with 
their ships, and by the masterful way in 
which they handled local problems sup- 
plied an example which their more timid 
English rivals were constrained in the 
end to follow. 

The early essays of the English repre- 

sentatives of the East India Company in 
Bengal were certainly neither heroic nor 
well planned. They were traders pure 
and simple, and the influence of the 
ledger was ever present in their tran- 
sactions. Even as traders they left a 
great deal to be desired, since we find 
them taking with them as suitable articles 
of mercliandise the stout English broad- 
cloth^, which could have no possible 
market in a sweltering climate such as 
that of the Gangetic delta is. Neverthe- 
less, as the first of their race to establish 
themselves in Eastern India, they are en- 
titled to the respectful notice of the 
historian. We may think lightly of their 

vinces bordering on the Bay of Bengal 
was but feebly supported, and after an 
inglorious existence the Hariharapur 
factory fell into utter decay. The 
Balasar establishment, however, survived, 
and after various vicissitudes it was con- 
stituted the headquarters of the English 
trading operations in this part of India. 
It so remained until 1650, when, acting 
on the advice of Gabriel Broughton, a 
surgeon in the employ of the East India 
Company, who had won favour with Shah 
Shuja, the Mogul Governor of Bengal, 
by his skill in treating a member of that 
prince's family, the Company dispatched 
the ship Lyoness to Bengal with the 

ft Hi" ^^^-^ 

From an Indian drawing in the Johnson Collection at the India Office. 

acumen and cast stones at their morals, 
but we cannot forget that they were the 
banner-bearers of a Power which was 
destined profoundly to influence the 
course of history in this part of Asia. 
The first appearance of the English 
as traders in the Bay of Bengal was in 
1633. In that year a small expedition, 
composed of eight Englishmen, led by 
Ralph Cartwright, voyaging in a country 
boat, proceeded from Masulipatam to the 
mouth of the Patua in Orissa, and thence 
to Cuttack and the Court of Malcandy, 
or Mukund Deo, the last of the line of 
independent Hindoo kings in that pro- 
vince. Friendly relations were estab- 
lished with the native power, and under 
the authority given by the king factories 
were set up at Hariharapur and Balasar 
in the same year. This initial efi'ort to 
create trade relations with the rich pro- 


object of establishing a factory inland 
up the Ganges. The Lyoness did not 
proceed beyond Balasar, and it was from 
that port that the Company's representa- 
tives, James Bridgeman and Edward 
Stephens, with two assistants named 
Blake and Tayler, started on the mission 
which took the form of a design to secure 
powers for the starting of a factory at 
Hooghly. There is some doubt as to 
what really happened after this, but the 
generally accepted view is that, probably 
owing to Broughton's influence, though 
this is by no means clear, a nishan, or 
authority, was procured for Rs. 3,000 
from Shah Shuja in 1651 or 1652, giving 
the English the right to trade in Bengal 
without payment of custom dues. The 
factory established at Hooghly under this 
grant suffered under the same disabilities 
which had nullified the efforts of the 


earlier expedition at Hariharapur. It 
had, in fact, barely been brought into 
existence before the Council at Madras 
came to the conclusion that the enterprise 
must be abandoned. This decision was 
come to in 1657, but before there was 
time to give it effect the condition of the 
Company's affairs at home, with the 
amalgamation of Courtin's Conjpany with 
the original Company and the renewal of 
the latter's charter by Cromwelli, had so 
greatly improved that a new forward 
policy was deemed politic, and under this 
an arrangement was concluded for the 
dispatch of a special commission to 
Bengal, with the object of removing 
abuses and strengthening the Company's 
position in that quarter. A large new 
staff was appointed to equip the factory 
at Hooghly as well as provide for sub- 
ordinate agencies at Balasar, Kasim- 
bazar, and Patna. It is to be noted 
that one of the junior officers thus 
appointed was Job Charnock, who was 
to become famous some years later in 
connection with the founding of Calcutta. 
A new era in the connection of the 
English with Bengal was opened with the 
dispatch of the commission referred to 
in the foregoing paragraph. Hitherto the 
efforts of the Company to create a posi- 
tion in Bengal had been spasmodic and 
disconnected. Their agents had been men 
of inferior status, and lacking in the sup- 
port which was needed in a situation such 
as then existed, with exigent native 
authorities on the one hand', and aggres- 
sive rivals, Dutch and Portuguese, on the 
other. Now there was a regular organ- 
ization, with a proper system of control, 
and possessing authority to consolidate 
and extend the Company's influence in 
the vast region comprehended in the 
sphere of the Hooghly factory's opera- 
tions. Unfortunately the introduction of 
the new system coincided with one of 
those dynastic upheavals which from time 
to time convulsed India. The Emperor 
Shah Jehan falling seriously ill in 1657, 
his third son, Aurangzebe, went into re- 
bellion, and after imprisoning his father 
and defeating his elder brothers, seated 
himself upon the Imperial throne. These 
changes for a time reacted disastrously 
upon the English position. Disputes 
immediately arose relative to the pay- 
ment of the annual sum of Rs. 3,000, and 
the new native officials vexatiously 
hampered trade. At length the Com- 
pany's agent at Hooghly retaliated by 
seizing a native vessel in the river. This 
brought down upon the English the wrath 

of Mir JumlaW, the Mogul Governor of 
Bengal, who threatened to destroy the 
Company's factories and expel their ser- 
vants from Bengal if the vessel was not 
returned. Alarmed at the turn that 
affairs had taken, the Company's officials 
made their peace with the irate governor 
by restoring the vessel and paying a fine 
by way of indemnity. Their action was 
a humiliating confession of weakness, 
which served to accentuate the arrogance 
and extortion of native officialdom. Sir 
Edward Winter, who, under the new 
charter of the Company issued by 
Charles II in 1661, had been sent out to 
India as President of Fort St. George, 


From an c>rif|inal Indian drawing in the Johnson 
Collection at the India Office. 

with full control of the Bengal factories, 
was greatly in favour of the adoption of 
a more energetic policy. His view was 
that the only suitable argument for usq 
in discussion with the native Government 
was sea power, and that this should be 
energetically employed so as to convince 
them that the English were as strong on 
the water as the Mogul power was on the 
land. His theory had much to commend 
it, as the subsequent course of events 
clearly demonstrated, but the times were 
not suitable for the adoption of thorough- 
going measures. The home authorities, 
imbued with the idea that trade and 
aggressive action, even for purposes of 
defence, were incompatible, took strong 
exception to Winter's policy, and in order 
that they should not be committed too 


far by him, sent out a new agent in the 
person of George Foxcroft to supersede 
him. Winter openly opposed these 
meaFures, seizing Foxcroft and casting 
him into prison, and continuing to exer- 
cise official authority in spite of protests, 
until, three years later, a commission was 
sent out from home with powers which 
he could not disregard. 

Winter's coup d'etat belongs more to 
the history of Madras than to that of 
Bengal, but it, nevertheless, was not with- 
out its influence on the course of events in 
the latter territory, where development 
was delayed by the fierce official feud 
waged at headquarters over the prostrate 
body of Foxcroft. The trouble was the 
more unfortunate as the Bengal trade at 
this juncture was proving its value. A 
great export was growing up in Bengal 
silk, and such was the demand for the 
beautiful muslins and other light fabrics 
of Bengal that in 1668 the Company had 
authorized the establishment of an agency 
at Dacca, then the capital of the province. 
It was in this year that the famous 
Bengal Pilot Service was formed. The 
Company's ships had found the difficulties 
of navigating the river so serious that 
they had up to 1662 landed their cargoes 
at Balasar, a practice which seriously 
militated against the profits of the 
voyages, owing to the necessity of tran- 
shipment and the incidental expenses. As 
the large Dutch ships were able to get up 
to Chinsurah in safety, the Court of 
Directors determined to grapple with 
the problem of navigating the difficult 
channels of the river by giving special 
orders to their captains to have a 
survey of the waterway made. The 
instructions were very definite, and 
in order that some permanence should 
be giveri to the system, six young men 
were appointed as apprentices to be 
trained in survey work. Acfmirable work 
was done by these youthful pioneers. To 
one of their number — George Herron — 
belongs the credit of producing the first 
chart of the river which was of any scien- 
tific value. It was, however, not until 
1679, when Captain Stafford made the 
passage to Hooghly in the Falcon, that 
their labours reached fruition. 

No change of any moment occurred in 
the position of the English in Bengal until 
1676, when the Company introduced an 
improved system of administration, and 
sent out Streynsham Master, one of its 
ablest servants, to inaugurate the new 
regime in Eastern India. Master, in his 
well-known " Diary," has left a record 


of his mission — or missions, for he paid 
two separate visits to the Bay of Bengal 
— which is one of the classics of Indian 
official literature. Besides being a clever 
official, he was a man of considerable 
culture, and his writings have a literary 
quality which is not often found in the 
Company's records of that period. He 
gives us a graphic picture of the life of 
the English factories in Bengal as they 
then existed, and also tells us a great 
deal about the conditions of trade and 
the openings offered for enterprise in the 
rich Gangetic delta. His visits resulted 
in a marked extension of the Company's 
activities. The existing factories were 
reorganized, with Hooghly as more defi- 
nitely the headquarters of the Bengal 
agencies, and a new factory was started 
at Malda, bringing the number of the 
Company's agencies up to six, the other 
centres being Hooghly, Balasor, Dacca, 
Patna, Kasimbazar, and Singhiya. A 
considerable extension of the Company's 
investments followed upon the completion 
of these arrangements. The trade was 
a very lucrative one, so much so that in 
1677 it is noted in the records that the 
year's transactions on the east coast were 
greater than in any other period of the 
Company's commerce. 

Growth of English Influence 

Authority to trade given by Aurangzebe — Native exactions 
— William Hedges, the chief factor at Hooghly, 
recommends the .ndoption of a strong policy — Expedi- 
tion to the Bay of Bengal— Mogul troops assume the 
offensive at Hoo;;hIy — Job Charnock successfully 
attacks the Moguls, and the English sack Hooghly — 
Shayista Khan, the Mogul Governor of Bengal 
declares war against the English — Tlie English take 
refuge at Hijili— Precarious position of the English- 
English reinforcements arrive and save the situation 
— Occupation of Sutanuti, the modern Calcutta. 

Hooghly, though a far more desirable 
centre for the Company's headquarters 
than Balasor, had many and serious dis- 
advantages. Some of these were inherent 
in the situation ; others were the product 
of the short-sightedness of the founders 
of the factory, who chose for its site a 
position hemmed in by native houses and 
open to attack from the land as well as 
the river. As the Company's trade grew 
the drawbacks of the position were accen- 
tuated. Powerless to resist the native 
exactions, the Company's agents more 
and more fell under the evil influence of 
the system, which made their operations 
the sport of avaricious officials. In 1680 
an authority to trade without payment of 
any dues other than the 3| per cent, tax 
imposed at Surat was obtained from 

Aurangzebe, but, owing to the obscure 
wording of the rescript, the Bengal 
officials repudiated the exemption claimed 
by the Company's agents, and enforced 
their exactions as of yore. In vain 
William Hedges, who had been sent out 

tinued, and even assumed an aggravated 
form. It became more than ever obvious 
that if the Company wished to enjoy real 
freedom in its trading operations it must 
have a fortified position, with power in 
the background to protect its interests 


From an original Indian drawing in the 

as agent and governor in Bengal, 
appealed to the Mogul Governor, 
Shayista Khan, to have the impediments 
to the Company's trade reniovtid. 
Shayista Khan was conciliatory, and 
even promised to procure a new larman 
from the Emperor, and to compel the 
obnoxious officials to make restitution. 
But, in spite of all, the old abuses con- 



Johnson Collection at the India Office. 

when they were unfairly assailed. 
Hedges in his dispatches home 
strongly recommended the adoption 
of a forward policy of this kind, but, 
as in the case of Winter before him, 
the directors were indisposed to acknow- 
ledge the soundness of their servant's 
logic. They thought that strong 
measures would defeat their own ends, 



and that, in any event, if they were to be 
resorted to, the pressure could be more 
effectively applied in Bombay than in 
Bengal. Their opposition, however, was 
not long proof against the evidence which 
accumulated year by year indicative of 
the serious effects produced upon the 
Company's trade by the unrestrained 
violence of the local officials. In 1686, 
having obtained permission from James I 
to make war on the Mogul, the Court made 
arrangements for a vigorous campaign on 
both coasts of India. On the western side 
the Company's officials had orders to 
withdraw from Surat and seize every 
Mogul ship that was encountered at sea. 
To Eastern India a large fleet was dis- 
patched, with instructions to rendezvous 
at Balasor, and from thence proceed to 
Chittagong, which port was to be seized 
and held for the Company, with Job 
Charnocic in the position of governor. 
The expedition to the Bay of Bengal 
was for that period an imposing force. 
It consisted of three men-of-war — the 
Beaufort, the Nathaniel, and the 
Rochester— moMUlm^ altogether 185 
guns and manned by 600 seamen, 
and three small frigates, each mounting 
12 guns and having a crew of 20. In 
addition to this force, there was at the 
disposal of the local officials a number 
of river craft and a miscellaneous con- 
tingent of troops made up of English 
soldiers and Portuguese or native Christ- 
ian fighting men— the latter " very sorry 
fellows," according to the officbl state- 
ment. It was a sufficiently large force, if 
used with judgment, to effect much as 
matters then stood, but the arrangements 
for the concentration of the various 
elements of the expedition were ill-con- 
ceived, and before they were completed 
the native authority assumed the offensive, 
and sent a considerable body of troops, 
iiKluding artillery, to occupy Hooghly. 
Hostilities commenced on October 28, 
1686, when three English soldiers were 
set upon, and, after being badly beaten, 
taken prisoners. A company of soldiers 
were sent out from the factory with orders 
to rescue the captives. They made a 
gallant attempt to execute their instruc- 
tions, but were met by a largely superior 
force of the enemy, and were compelled 
to retreat with the loss of seven men 
killed or wounded. Following up their 
success, the Moguls fired the houses ad- 
jacent to the factory and opened fire with 
their artillery on the Company's ships 
in the river. Alarmed at the turn that 
affairs had taken, Charnock, who was in 

charge of the factory, sent to Chandcr- 
nagore for some English troops that were 
quartered there. These in due course 
arrived, and, ably led by Captain Arbuth- 
not, attacked and captured the enemy's 
battery, and, having spiked and dis- 
mounted the guns, pushed on to the 
Mogul Governor's house, driving all 
before them. The Mogul Governor, 
fearing for his safety in the presence of 
this impetuous onslaught, incontinently 
fled, leaving the English in undisputed 
possession of the field. In order that 
the lesson they had given might lack 
nothing in point, the English later opened 
fire from their ships on the native settle- 
ment, " and kept firing and battering 
most part of the night and next day, 
and making frequent sallies on shore, 
burning and plundering all they met 
with." Impressed by this vigorous 
assertion of power, the Mogul Governor', 
through the Dutch, sought to eff^ect an 
accommodation. Charnock, who was in 
no condition to continue the fight in- 
definitely, and was anxious to gain time 
for the completion of his plans for the 
removal of the Company's property to 
a more secure position, gladly accepted 
these overtures. 

A " sort of peace " now followed, the 
English actively employing themselves 
with their loading operations, and mean- 
while conducting negotiations for an 
Imperial authority to trade. But they 
had reckoned without Shayista Khan, who 
was not the type of functionary to sit 
down meekly under such a heavy rebuff, 
as the defeat of the Mogul troops un- 
doubtedly was, to the supreme power. 
The Mogul Viceroy almost immediately 
took steps to avenge the Hooghly attack. 
Rejecting with contempt the demand for 
a new authority to trade, he issued orders 
for the seizure of the Company's property 
and the imprisonment of their servants 
at Dacca, and he followed this up with the 
issue of orders to the subordinate gover- 
nors of Bengal to collect all the forces 
they could get together with the purpose 
'of driving the English out of Bengal 
never to return. Charnock now realized 
that it was to be open war. He promptly 
took the initiative by burning the King's 
salt houses and assaulting the forts at 
Thana or Garden Reach. When the latter 
had been demolished the English agent 
loaded the ships with the Company's 
property and records and went off down- 
stream to the island of Hijili. 

Charnock so far had shown himself a 
shrewd and resourceful leader in a time of 

emergency, but the choice of Hijili as 
a place of refuge was an unfortunate one. 
The island was naturally a swamp, and 
malarious to a degree which has passed 
into a proverb. Its gravest defect, how- 
ever, was that it was not a spot on which 
a good defence could be made. The 
serious disadvantages of the situation 
were revealed ere the new colony had 
been in being many weeks. As the hot 
season approached the English soldiers 
and seamen sickened in alarming 
numbers. Simultaneously the Mogul 
forces became stronger and more 
menacing. By the middle of May 
1687 two hundred of the English troops 
had succumbed to the climate, and Char- 
nock, with his sadly diminished force, 
was called upon to meet the attacks 
of twelve thousand well-equipped Mogul 
troops. Desperate almost as the position 
was, Charnock never lost heart. When 
on a day at the end of May the Moguls 
surprised one of his outposts and pene- 
trated into the town, threatening his com- 
munications with the ships in the river, 
he concentrated his attenuated forces in 
a small masonry building midway between 
the town and the landing-place, and suc- 
cessfully, in that position of advantage, 
repulsed the enemy's attacks. On the 
1st of June the gallant defenders were 
greatly heartened by the arrival on the 
scene of a reinforcement of seventy men 
fresh from Europe. Skilfully utilizing 
these new troops, Charnock so impressed 
the Mogul general that on June 4th he 
sent in an intimation that he desired 
peace. Ultimately an arrangement was 
come to by which the English were able 
to march out with all the honours of 
war. Charnock was promised by the 
Mogul general a consideration of his de- 
mands for freedom of trade and a site 
for a factory. But, as had often hap- 
pened before, these pledges proved 
altogether illusory. The utmost that 
Shayista Khan would concede was per- 
mission to continue trading from Hooghly 
and to create a factory at another 
point on the river, Ulubaria, whither the 
English had gone after leaving Hooghly. 
Charnock was under no misconception as 
to the uselessness of the concessions 
made, and as soon as Shayista Khan's 
intentions were fully disclosed he made up 
his mind to abandon Ulubaria and take all 
the ships up the river to Sutanuti, the site 
of the modern Calcutta. The agent had 
by this time a clearer vision of what was 
really needed, and his skilled eye saw 
in the geographical position of the little 



Illustrations from Lieut.-Col. Forrest's "Picturesque Tour on the Ganges and Jumna " (1824). 



village of Sutanuti strategical advantages 
such as were not readily to be secured at 
any other available spot. In due course 
the new haven of refuge was reached, 
an.1 a settlement of rude mat huts was 
formed, which was destined to live in 
history as the embryo of the greatest of 
Indian cities. 

The English driven from Bengal 

Charnock's ible conduct o« at(airs— His supersession by 
Heath— Encuatixn of Sutanuti— English Mxck on 
Balaaor— Subsequent abortive expedition to Chitta- 
(ong — Departure of the English for Madras — 
Aurangiebe Intites the English to return to Bengal— 
The invitation accepted— Reoccupation of Sutanuti— 
New authority to trade received. 

Charnock so far had played an able and 
even a brilliant part in the transactions 
with the Moguls. With a ridiculously 
small contingent he had for months held 
at bay the formidable forces of the native 
Government, and had implanted in their 
minds such a lively sense of English 
prowess that he had been able to make 
a not unfavourable composition with the 
Mogul Governor. In all his dealings with 
the enemy he had shown himself a clever 
diplomatist, and had revealed a know- 
ledge of native character of a very un- 
common kind. His services, it might 
have been supposed, would have com- 
mended him to his superiors. But the 
Court at home had conceived a violent 
prejudice against Charnock, and at the 
very moment when his policy was reaching 
successful development they were dis- 
patching an envoy out charged with the 
execution of a design which ran counter 
to the agent's idea of establishing a 
settlement up the river. This was the 
plan previously alluded to for the capture 
of Chittagong. The directors had long 
been in favour of a settlement at Chitta- 
gong, and their predilection for that port 
was strengthened by the earlier accounts 
of the difficulties encountered by Char- 
nock after the evacuation of Hooghly. 
In sending out a special representative in 
the person of Captain William Heath, 
the commander of the Company's ship 
Defence, the Court were thinking more 
of the desirability of settling at Chitta- 
gong than of the expediency of reversing 
Charnock's policy. But in dispatches 
they had bitterly impugned his judgment 
in the Hijili affair, and his supersession 
was doubtless regarded as a measure of 
wisdom in view of his supposed deficien- 
cies. However tlvat may be, Heath was 
given a pretty free hand, and he was not 
slow tu use his power, with disastrous 

results to the carefully laid schemes of 

Heath was a man of ill-balanced mind, 
reckless to a dangerous degree, and, what 
perliaps was even worse in such a posi- 
tion as that in which he was placed, 
strongly self-opinionated. He went out 
to India with the idea that the way to 
peace was through war, and he would 
tolerate no suggestion that the English 
might get all they wanted if they re- 
mained at Sutanuti, or Calcutta as we 
may now call it, as Shayista Khan was 
no longer in power, and his successor, 
Bahadur Khan, had shown himself well 
disposed to the English. His orders were 
that the local officials should wind up 
the Company's affairs with a view of the 
transfer of the whole establishment to 
Chittagong. In due course the orders 
were carried out, and, much to the 
astonishment of the native officials, who 
could not comprehend the meaning of the 
move, the whole staff set sail on November 
8th for the Bay. Eight days later the 
flotilla dropped anchor off Balasor. At 
this port a very considerable English 
force was gathered, reinforced by two 
captured French frigates, which had been 
seized by the fleet a short time previously. 
Heath parleyed with the native authorities 
for some days without effect, and then, 
on November 29th, landed a force, which 
attacked and put to flight the Mogul 
troops, and temporarily occupied the 
town. The easily purchased victory 
availed nothing so far as the demands 
on the Mogul Government were con- 
cerned. If it had any effect it was to 
stiffen the local opposition, and make 
Bahadur Khan more indisposed than he 
had been to grant facilities to the 

Finding that nothing further was to be 
accomplished at Balasor, Heath at the 
close of the year proceeded to Chitta- 
gong to execute the plan formed by the 
Court for a settlement there. On arrival 
at that port it was very apparent that the 
position was far too strong to be sus- 
ceptible to effective attack by so small a 
force as that under Heath's command. 
Heath, however, was not disposed to re- 
linquish his task without an effort. He 
consequently opened up negotiations with 
the local king, who was at war with the 
Moguls, offering the services of his force. 
As Heath had before made a similar offer 
unsuccessfully to Bahadur Khan, and the 
fact was probably well known in Chitta- 
gong, the overtures were treated with 
scant respect. Enraged at the rebuff, 

Heath decided to quit a scene in which 
his generous impulses appeared to have 
so little play. Weighing anchor on Feb- 
ruary 17, 1688, he steered south, and a 
short time later appeared off Fort St. 
George. Here the Bengal staff found a 
temporary resting-place after their six 
months' wanderings. 

It now seemed that the star of the 
Company's destiny in Bengal had finally 
set. Their factories razed, their agents 
all either prisoners or fugitives, and their 
ships without a friendly anchorage to re- 
sort to, the prospect was gloomy indeed. 
But proverbially it is the darkest hour 
before the dawn. Ere the peripatetic 
officials had barely settled down in 
Madras, measures were afoot for their 
reinstatement in Bengal under promising 
conditions. The truth is that the native 
authorities did not want to lose them. 
They required their trade, which was very 
helpful to the local revenue, and they 
wanted the immunity for Mogul shipping 
which a contented and friendly English 
connection brought. Even the great 
Aurangzebe was constrained to intervene 
to secure a reversal of the English policy 
of evacuating Bengal. " You must under- 
stand," he wrote to the Nawab of Bengal, 
" that it has been the good fortune of 
the English to repent them of their 
irregular past proceedings and their not 
being in their former greatness, have by 
their attornies petitioned for their lives 
and a pardon for their faults, which, out 
of my extraordinary favour towards them, 
I have accordingly granted. Therefore, 
upon receipt here of my order you must 
not create them any further trouble, but 
let them trade in your government as 
formerly, and this order I expect you 
see strictly observed." 

The conversion of Aurangzebe to the 
r61e of a friend of the English was so 
sudden that Charnock was at first dis- 
posed to distrust the motive of the over- 
tures. He replied to the summons from 
Ibrahim Khan, who had replaced Bahadur 
Khan in the viceroyalty, by demanding a 
specific warrant stating on what terms 
trade would be permitted. Ibrahim 
Khan, in reply, intimated that he had 
applied to the Emperor for the warrant, 
but pointed out that it would probably 
be some months before the instrument 
could be arranged, and urged the English 
to proceed to Bengal without delay. 
Charnock thought that the prospect was 
sufficiently good to justify whatever risk 
there might be in the acceptance of the 
offer. He therefore made arrangements 


for the return of the staff to their posts in 
Bengal. The decision, as events proved, 
was a wise one. On arrival in the river 
in August the returned merchants were 
received in friendly fashion, and by the 
end of the month they were once more 
in occupation of their quarters, or what 
remained of them, at Sutanuti and 
Hooghly. Afterwards the relations with 
the native officials were established on a 
more friendly base than they had ever 
been previously. Aurangzebe was 
genuinely anxious to see the English 
trade continued, and Ibrahim Khan was, 
by disposition as well as policy, disposed 
to befriend them. It was, however, not 
until February lo, i6gi, that the desired 
authority to trade was received. On that 
date an Imperial rescript was signed 
allowing the English to prosecute their 
operations in Bengal on payment of 
Rs. 3,000 annually in lieu of all dues. 
This official recognition of the English 
right to trade in Bengal was the herald 
of a new dispensation, in which the Com- 
pany's power was consolidated and 
strengthened until it became the most 
powerful foreign influence that was 
exerted in Eastern India. 

The Founding of Calcutta 

Charnock's administration of the setUemeiit — His dealii — 
Condemnation of Charnoclv by Sir John Goldsborough. 
llie Company's Commissary-General — Reforms insti- 
tuted—Steady progress of the settlement— Charles 
Eyre's administration— Bengal created a separate 
Presidency— Fort William completed— John' Beard's 
administrjtion — The Rotation Government — Aurang- 
zebe's death— Shah Alum threatens to attack Calcutta 
— New authority to trade procured — Growth of the 

Certain events mark the historic pro- 
gress of the British Empire. The foimd- 
ing of Calcutta is one of these. It 
constitutes a distinct dividing line 
between the early India in which the 
English were struggling for a footing in 
the guise of humble traders, and the later 
India in which the British power by 
gradual stages gained a paramount posi- 
tion as an administrative force. As far 
as Bengal is concerned there was still 
much to be accomplished after the estab- 
lishment of the settlement at Calcutta ere 
the position was made secure even against 
local tyranny, but the undoubted turning- 
point in the British connection with 
Eastern India was when Job Charnock, 
with his little band of merchants and 
writers, settled down on the swampy 
banks of the river and sought to make 
there a home and a habitation for them- 


selves as free as might be from tiresome 
Mogul interference. 

Charnock was the right man for a task 
such as this, calling not only for energy 
and foresight but for the possession of 
a wide experience of the country and its 
people. As we have seen, he was an old 
officer of the Company, one who had for 
years held responsible positions in its 
hierarchy. He was not a man of great 
education or of high intellectual power. 
But he knew Bengal like a book, and 
this profound knowledge of local con- 
ditions stood him in good stead in the 
continuous struggle he had to wage to 
obtain for the Company in Eastern India 
its " place in the sun." Many things 
to his disadvantage were said at the time 
by his fellow-countrymen. The directors, 
too, were his stern critics. But we can 
only judge him by his public acts, and 
these, as far as we can estimate things, 
show him as a highly capable official, 
and one who had the gift of true states- 

It is doubtless true that Charnock in 
the later years of his life displayed quali- 
ties which were not compatible with full 
efficiency. Long residence in India had 
dulled his faculties, and he was too prone 
to ease. Furthermore, he was open to the 
charge of favouritism and of taking an 
active part in quarrels when he should 
have maintained a rigid impartiality. So 
the record of his association with Calcutta 
is rather blurred and spotted. It was 
the rounding off of a strenuous and 
chequered life in a certain squalor. Cir- 
cumstances, general as well as local, were 
against him, and he was content to float 
in a muddy stream and knock against 
the shoals rather than to exert himself 
and get into clear and deep water. 

In point of fact Charnock's oppor- 
tunity came too late in his life. He died 
on January 10, 1693, less than three 
years from the time of the landing of 
the old chief and his council after their 
sojourn in Madras. In the interval 
England had become involved in war- 
like operations with France, and the com- 
mercial activities of the Company had 
been seriously hampered by the hostilities 
conducted between the rival naval forces 
in Indian waters. Added to this grave 
disability— doubly felt in the case of a 
settlement just struggling into existence 
— was the mischievous influence of per- 
sonal animosities, which divided the com- 
munity and prevented anything in the 
nature of healthy progress. In the cir- 
cumstances it is not remarkable that when 


Sir John Goldsborough, Commissary- 
General and Chief Governor of the 
Company's settlements, arrived at Cal- 
cutta in the August following Charnock's 
death, he should have found the settle- 
ment in a very disorganized condition. 
His report upon it is coloured by a strong 
prejudice against Charnock, who is held 
responsible for the unsatisfactory condi- 
tion of affairs, but in the main we may 
accept it as a faithful picture of what 
this early Calcutta was like. No place, 
we are told, had been marked out for a 
factory, and people had been allowed to 
enclose lands, dig tanks, and build houses 
where and how they pleased. The moral 
atmosphere of the place was bad. One 
of the leading officials— Hill by name — 
had been " allowed to keep a punch- 
house and billiard-table gratis while 
others paid for it." There were other 
abuses associated with the Company's 
trade which could not be reconciled with 
an efficient administration. Using the 
authority with which he was invested, 
Goldsborough instituted sweeping re- 
forms in the settlement. Hill was sum- 
marily dismissed and packed off to 
Madras, and Ellis, the official who had 
succeeded Charnock, was superseded by 
Charles Eyre, one of the few officials who 
appeared to possess ability and character. 
At the same time the military establish- 
ment was reduced and other retrench- 
ments made, the net effect of which was 
a saving of Rs. 4,000 a year. On the 
constructive side Goldsborough was 
equally energetic. Arrangements were 
made for the erection of a factory as 
soon as permission for the undertaking 
of the work could be obtained from the 
native authorities. Goldsborough also 
interested himself in the religious con- 
dition of the community. Finding that 
the merchants and factors were marrying 
native wives and coming too much under 
the influence of the Augustinian friars, 
he turned the priests out of the settle- 
rnent and pulled down their church. His 
zeal for reform, as he regarded it, might 
have carried him a good deal farther had 
not he been seized with illness and carried 
off in November ere it had been possible 
to secure formal approval of his plans. 
Charles Eyre, Goldsborough's nominee 
for the chief office, after some delay 
assumed control of the settlement, and 
justified the faith reposed in him by the 
Commissary-General. He is, perhaps, 
best remembered in this day as the hus- 
band of Charnock's daughter, Mary, and 
the builder of the massive mausoleum to 


that worthy which still stands in St. 
John's Churchyard. 

Under the improved system of admin- 
istration which Goldsborough introduced 
the Calcutta settlement made steady pro- 
gress, but it was not until 1696 that it 
was possible to commence to make it the 
fortified position which the Company had 
always contemplated it should be. The 
opportunity for completing its equipment 
in the manner desired came through some 
local troubles in which a Hindoo land- 
owner named Cubha Singha played the 
leading part. Cubha Singha raised a 
rebellion, and, joining forces with Rahim 
Khan, an Afghan chief, soon became a 
menace to the peace of the country. As 
the Mogul authority took no active steps 
to crush the revolt, the heads of the Euro- 
pean settlements sought and obtained 
from the Nawab Ibrahim Khan permission 
to raise troops to deal with the disturbers 
of the peace. Acting on the authority 
given, the English set to work to fortify 
their factory. They made good progress 
with the operations, and by the middle 
of 1698 had erected a substantial struc- 
ture of brick and mud, which in due 
course developed into the first Fort 
William. A more important advance 
towards the creation of a stable position 
for the Company even than this essay in 
fortification was made in July of the same 
year, when, for a sum of Rs. 16,000, the 
Company obtained letters patent from 
Azimu-sh-Shan, who had succeeded 
Ibrahim Khan as Nawab of Bengal, 
allowing them to purchase from the 
existing holders the right of renting the 
three villages of Calcutta, Sutanuti, and 
Govindpur, a permit which gave the 
English a firm foothold on the territory 
which they required for their settlement. 

Eyre returned home in 1699, and the 
Company, in gratitude for his services in 
securing the grant from the Nawab, used 
its influence and obtained for him the 
honour of knighthood. As Sir Charles 
Eyre he returned to Calcutta at the end 
of the year to superintend the important 
changes which had been made in the ad- 
ministration by the Court of Directors, 
under which Bengal was created a 
separate Presidency. Eyre carried with 
him instructions to complete the forti- 
fications of the factory, which, it was 
arranged, should, in compliment to the 
King, be called Fort William. The 
newly-created knight arrived in Calcutta 
on May 26, 1700, but within the year he 
returned to England " on urgent private 
afifairs "—in point of fact to contract a 

marriage which he had set his heart 
on. The reins of power fell from his 
hands into those of John Beard, an old 
servant of the Company, who had first 
come out to India about twenty years 
previously with his father, in the com- 
pany of Governor Hedges, at this period 
a leading figure in the official world, 
whose " Diary " vies with that of Streyn- 
sham Master in historic interest. Beard 
took up office at a somewhat important 
juncture in the affairs of the English in 
India. Not long after his assumption 
of office Aurangzebe issued an edict 
directing the arrest of all Europeans in 
India because of the depredations of 
pirates, who had robbed Mogul ships in 
the Eastern seas and maltreated Mahom- 
medans on the way to and from the 
pilgrimage to Mecca. Beard showed 
conspicuous courage and ability in meet- 
ing the situation which arose in Bengal 
in this crisis. By a combination of finesse 
and firmness he prevented the Mogul 
officials from doing any mischief. On 
one occasion, when a Mogul officer 
ordered the Company's goods at Cal- 
cutta to be seized, Beard mounted addi- 
tional guns and drafted men from tlie 
ships to work them, his reasoning being 
that it was better to spend money on 
powder and shot than "to be always 
giving to every little rascal " who thought 
he could do the Company some injury. 

Beard's career of usefulness was cut 
short, or at all events seriously dis- 
turbed, by the arrangements which were 
made in 1703 for the union of the old 
East India Company with its newer rival, 
which had for years been a thorn in the 
official flesh in Eastern India. Under the 
plan adopted the office of governor was 
abolished, and the general affairs of the 
settlement placed under the control of 
a joint council composed of members of 
the local staff of each council, and with 
as its heads Mr. Robert Hedges and Mr. 
Ralph Sheldon, who presided over the 
council in alternate weeks. Beard did 
not long survive his supersession. Fall- 
ing ill in 1704, he proceeded to Madras 
for change of air, and, after lingering 
for some months, died there on July 7th. 
Meanwhile his rival. Sir Edward Little- 
ton, who had managed the affairs of the 
new Company in the years prior to the 
union, got into disgrace for making too 
free with the Company's cash. He was 
ultimately dismissed from his office, and 
died imder a heavy cloud on October 24, 

The Rotation Government, as it came 

to be known, was a makeshift, and it 
was not more successful than makeshifts 
usually are. Its dual character led to 
many difficulties, not the least perplexing 
of which was the impossibility of making 
the native authorities believe that the two 
rival Companies were now really only one, 
and that unity implied but a single con- 
tribution to the Mogul exchequer. While 
the council were haggling with the local 
governor over the question of the amount 
of the contribution, news was received of 
the death of Aurangzebe. Immediate 
steps were taken to prepare for the 
emergency which it was clearly seen 
would arise owing to the conflicting 
claims of the dead emperor's sons to the 
throne. The council called in their 
Company's representatives from the out- 
stations and strengthened the defences 
of the fort. Meanwhile they broke off 
the negotiations for a payment to the 
Imperial treasury, and steadily refused 
to consider a demand for a special levy 
towards the support of the forces of Shah 
Alum, the victorious aspirant to the 
Imperial succession. An attack was 
threatened on the settlement about the 
middle of 1708, and was only averted 
by the spirited measures adopted to ward 
off any aggression. 

At length the negotiations for a contri- 
bution to the Imperial funds were 
resumed, and after many vicissitudes, 
were carried to a successful conclusion 
in 1709, when, in consideration of a 
payment of Rs. 45",ooo, the Company 
obtained an order giving them freedom 
of trade in Bengal, Behar, and Orissa. 
This arrangement placed the affairs of 
the Company in Eastern India in a more 
satisfactory position, and a considerable 
extension of trade followed. Simul- 
taneously extensive building operations 
were carried on in the settlement, and 
Calcutta gradually but surely assumed 
the character of a centre of social life 
as well as of commerce. In 17 10 the 
Rotation Government disappeared from 
the scene, and, dying in anything but the 
odour of sanctity, gave place to a unified 
administration, in which Sir .Anthony 
Weltden figured as President of the 
Council and Governor. 


The Eclipse of English Power in 

Murshid Kuli Khan, better known as Jafar Khan, the 
Governor of Bengal— Hisgreat power— Unsatisfactory 
relations with the English— Mission to Delhi— The 
Emperor Farrukhsiyar grants to the Company im- 
portant privileges— Improvement of trade— Death of 



Illustrations from Licut.-Col. Forrest's "Picturesque Tour Along the Ganges and Jumna" (1824). 



Jifir Khan— His succtssore— The 0»tend Company 
esUblishn a factors- at Bankipor<^— EnRllsh and Dutch 
opposition — The Germans driven out— The Mahratta 
Ditch — Suiaj-ud-Dowlah attains to power — The 
Iragcdy ot the Black Hole of Calcutta. 

After Aurangzebe's death the power in 
Bengal was largely concentrated in the 
hands of Murshid Kuli Khan, the Nawab 
or Governor, with whom the English 
Council had negotiated for a licence to 
trade. This worthy was one of those 
remarkable men in Eastern history who 
through force of character raise them- 
selves from comparatively obscure posi- 
tions to the height of worldly power. 
A Brahman by birth, he was early sold 
into slavery in Persia, and there assumed 
the Mahommedan faith. He was taken 
into the Imperial service, and his con- 
spicuous talents, supplemented by his 
natural gift of intrigue, secured him 
steady advancement, until he was asso- 
ciated by Aurangzebe with Azimu-sh- 
Shan in the government of Bengal in 
the position of Imperial Treasurer. The 
priiKely Governor, who at the time was 
thinking a good deal more of the succes- 
sion to the Mogul throne than of his 
charge in Eastern India, left the govern- 
ment very much under Murshid Kuli 
Khan's control. Making the best of his 
opportimity, the crafty treasurer gradu- 
ally got all the reins of power into his 
hands, and eventually became in name 
as well as fact Governor of Bengal. Nor 
was he content to be merely a servant 
of an Imperial master. As the Mogul 
power, under the influence of the mortal 
disease with which it was stricken, be- 
came less and less a reality, the Governor 
of Bengal arrogated to himself to an 
increasing extent the rights of a sove- 
reign ruler. Transferring the seat of 
government from Dacca, where it had 
long been, to Murshidabad, he established 
a Court to which representatives of the 
principal trading nations of Europe re- 
sorted on the frequent occasions when 
they required concessions or had to com- 
plain of grievances or protest against 
exactions. The intercourse was the more 
intimate as the Governor's Court was in 
close proximity to Kasimbazar, which had 
long been a centre of commercial impor- 
tance to the European traders, and which 
at the beginning of the sighteenth century 
contained factories belonging to the 
French and the Dutch as well as the 

Murshid Kuli Khan, though he disliked 
Europeans and was at no pains at times 
to conceal his aversion, had a very intelli- 
gent conception of the advantages that 

European trade brought, and he left the 
East India Company to pursue its trade 
with only occasional checks. The position 
nevertheless, was not altogether satisfac- 
tory, owing to the vagueness of the terms 
of the authority which had been conferred 
upon the Company, and it was not until 
some years after the establishment of the 
new regime that a definite legal status 
was secured. 

The first step of importance taken to 
secure a permanent status after Aurang- 
zebe's death was the dispatch in 1714 
from Calcutta to the Court of Farrukh- 
siyar, the new Emperor, of an embassy 
headed by Mr. John Surman, one of the 
Company's experienced officials. As the 
first English diplomatic mission which 
had been sent to the Mogul's Court since 
Sir William Norris's unfortunate embassy, 
the event excited much interest at the time, 
and every effort was made to invest it 
with importance. Surman carried with 
him presents of the value of £30,000, 
and his train was an imposing one. He, 
however, was ignorant of the intricate 
politics of the Delhi Court of that day, 
and only a favourable chance probably 
saved the mission from failure. This was 
the successful medical treatment of the 
Emperor by William Hamilton, the 
surgeon attached to the mission. Far- 
rukhsiyar was to have been married to 
the daughter of Raja Ajit Singh, one of 
the Rajput princes, but the wedding had 
been postponed because the Ejnperor was 
suffering from a complaint which his own 
physicians had been unable to cure. 
Hamilton, by a skilful operation, restored 
the Imperial patient to health, and by so 
doing won his fervent gratitude. Any 
reward that he cared to ask for might 
have been obtained by the young Scotch 
surgeon, but with rare self-denial and 
fidelity to his employers he merely stipu- 
lated for the granting of their petition 
for trading rights. Farrukhsiyar was 
well disposed towards the appeal, and 
referred the matter to his leading officials. 
In so doing he gave an opening for in- 
trigue, of which Jafar Khan, as Murshid 
Kuli Khan was now known, was not slow 
to take advantage. The sand which that 
worthy now put into the Imperial 
machine caused the negotiations to drag 
inordinately. It was only after repeated 
efforts and elaborate bribery that Surman 
was able, two years after his arrival, to 
depart, carrying with him the sealed com- 
pact which gave trf the English greatly 
increased powers. The principal of these 
were a right to have handed over to the 

Company for trial all Europeans or 
natives who might be accountable to the 
Company, and a concession of the lord- 
ship of thirty-eight towns in the vicinity 
of Calcutta, with the same rights as were 
attached to the Company's existing 

Jafar Khan was incensed at the success 
of the English mission, and he took 
instant measures to nullify the grant of 
new territory by prohibiting the local 
landowners from parting with their rights 
to the English on pain of severe punish- 
ment. In other respects, however, the 
wily Nawab saw fit to accept the situation, 
and the Company's representatives, real- 
izing now that they had to deal with 
Jafar Khan as the real power in Bengal, 
lost no opportunity of conciliating him 
with valuable presents. This prudent 
policy secured for Calcutta a lease of 
vigorous life. Trade grew enormously 
in volume, and the streets of the settle- 
ment hummed with life. Farrukhsiyar's 
death in 1 7 1 9 by the hand of an assassin, 
and the further degradation of the 
Imperial power by sordid parricidal 
warfare, enabled Jafar Khan to consoli- 
date his position. The Nawab was a man 
of great strength of character, and he 
established a rule in Bengal which was, 
regarded by Oriental standards, both firm 
and just. Dying in 1725, he left instruc- 
tions for the succession to the Nawabship 
of his grandson, Serferaz Khan. This 
arrangement was set aside in favour of 
one in which Serferaz Khan's father, 
Shuja Adem Khan, was made Nawab and 
Serferaz Khan was Dewan. 

Shuja Adem Khan early in his career 
gave evidence of his jealousy of the power 
of the English, and he availed himself 
of every opening which presented for 
thwarting and prejudiing their trade. It 
was this spirit that prompted him in 1724 
to give the Ostend Company, which a 
short time previously had been floated 
imder the auspices of the Court of \'ienna, 
a concession for a factory at Bankipore. 

Neither the English nor the Dutch 
relished the prospect of competition 
which the introduction of this new rival 
into their midst threatened, and they set 
to work immediately to oust the intruder. 
Their labours were not very fruitful at 
first, because Jafar Khan for his own ends 
threw the mantle of his powerful pro- 
tection over the newcomers, and refused 
to entertain any proposals for their evic- 
tion. When, however, Jafar Khan dis- 
appeared from the scene, the opposition 
to the Ostend Company was more sue- 



Illuslrations from Solvyn's " Les Hindous." Published in Paris, 1812. 

4. AYAH. 



cessful. In 17 33, acting on the instiga- 
tion of the English and Dutch Council, 
the Mahommedan Governor of Ilooghly 
attacked the German settlement, and 
forced the defenders, after a stiff fight, 
to capitulate. Thereafter the whole of 
the Ostend Company's staff embarked for 
Europe, bringing to a close one of the 
most interesting essays in European 
trading in the East of that day. A 
second attempt on the part of the 
Germans to gain a foothold in India was 
made under the patronage of Frederick 
the Great in 1750. It was even less suc- 
cessful than the earlier essay. After 
abortive efforts to trade the company was 
wound up. 

The elimination of this important rival 
from the path of the East India Company 
in Bengal had scarcely been effected than 
another and more serious danger arose 
to menace not merely the trade of its 
settlements but the whole prosperity of 
Bengal. This was the Mahratta peril. 
Falling more and more into decrepitude 
as the eighteenth century wore on, the 
Mogul Empire became a mark for the 
attentions of the virile Hindoo race of 
Western India, which the genius of Sivaji 
had disciplined into a formidable power 
for offensive, or, more properly speaking, 
destructive warfare. Sweeping across the 
plains of India, these light horsemen 
shook to the very foundations the crazy 
structure of Mogul rule. They pene- 
trated into Bengal, and threatened to 
appear even at the gates of Calcutta 
itself. Alarmed at the increasing bold- 
ness of the Mahratta forays, the Bengal 
Council sought and secured from the 
Nawab of Bengal permission to con- 
struct an outlying line of fortification 
to keep off the intruding hordes. Thus 
came into existence the Mahratta Ditch, 
a familiar place-name in the Calcutta of 

The Nawab who sanctioned the Mah- 
ratta Ditch was All Varda Khan, an adven- 
turer who in 1740 had wrested from the 
feeble hands of Jafar Khan's descendant 
the power to rule Bengal. Ali Varda 
Khan continued to exercise authority until 
his death in 1756, when the succession 
devolved upon his son, Suraj-ud-DowIah 
of infamous memory. Suraj-ud-Dowlah 
was a youth of eighteen of vicious in- 
stincts and despotic temperament. Ere 
he had been long on the throne he came 
into collision with the British power over 
a member of his family who had fled to 
Calcutta to escape his vengeance. Col- 
lecting a great army, Suraj-ud-Dowlah 

placed himself at its head and marched 
on Calcutta. The local officials of the 
Company pursued the worst possible 
course that could have been adopted in 
such an emergency. Instead of taking 
all the measures they could to make a 
stout defence of the settlement, the 
Governor and leading functionaries took 
refuge on board ships in the river, leaving 
the difficult task of opposing Suraj-ud- 
Dowlah 's force to their dispirited and 
disorganized subordinates. A show of 
resistance was offered by the little band 
of Englishmen, but in the end they had 
to capitulate. When the fort had fallen 
the Nawab ordered the prisoners to be 
brought before him in the principal hall 
of the factory. He assumed towards 
them an arrogant bearing, but promised 
to spare their lives. They were then 
handed over to the tender mercies of their 
guards to undergo that terrible ordeal 
which lives in English memory as one of 
the foulest and darkest crimes that have 
stained the pages of British Indian 

Many accounts have been written (on 
the basis of the narrative of Holwell, 
who was one of the prisoners) of the 
tragedy of the Black Hole of Calcutta, 
but nothing has ever brought the scene 
of that fateful night more vividly home 
to the present-day Briton than Macaulay's 
brilliant pen-picture in his essay on Clive. 
" The English captives," says Macaulay, 
" were left to the mercy of the guards, 
and the guards determined to secure them 
for the night in the prison of the garrison, 
a chamber known by the fearful name of 
the ' Black Hole.' Even for a single 
European malefactor the dungeon would 
in such a climate have been too close 
and narrow. The space was only 20 ft. 
square. The air-holes were small and 
obstructed. It was the summer solstice, 
the season when the fierce heat of Bengal 
can scarcely be rendered tolerable to 
natives of England by lofty halls and 
the constant waving of fans. The number 
of prisoners was 146.' When they were 
ordered to enter the cell they imagined 
that the soldiers were joking ; and, being 
in high spirits on account of the promise 
of the Nabob to spare their lives, they 
laugh'jd and jested at the absurdity of 
the notion. They soon discovered their 
mistake. They expostulated, they en- 
treated, but in vain. The guards 
threatened to cut down all who hesi- 
tated. The captives were driven into the 
cell at the point of the sword, and the 
door was instantly shut and locked on 

them. . . . They cried for mercy. They 
strove to burst the door. Holwell, who 
even in that extremity retained some 
presence of mind, offered large bribes 
to the gaolers. But the answer was that 
nothing could be done without the 
Nabob's orders, and that the Nabob was 
asleep, and that he would be angry if 
anybody woke him. Then the prisoners 
went mad with despair. They trampled 
each other down, fought for the places 
at the windows, fought for the pittance 
of water with which the cruel mercy of 
the murderers mocked their agonies, 
raved, prayed, blasphemed, implored the 
guards to fire among them. The gaolers 
in the meantime held lights to the bars, 
and shouted with laughter at the frantic 
struggles of their victims. At length the 
tumult died away in low gaspings and 
moanings. The day broke. The Nabob 
had slept off his debauch, and permitted 
the door to be opened. But it was some 
time before the soldiers could make a 
lane for the survivors by piling up on 
each side the heaps of corpses on which 
the burning climate had already begun 
to do its loathsome work. When at 
length a passage was made twenty-three 
ghastly figures, such as their own mothers 
would not have known, staggered one by 
one out of the charnel house. A pit was 
instantly dug. The dead bodies, 123 in 
number, were flung into it promiscuously 
and covered up." 

After the terrible night in the " Black 
Hole " Holwell and the other male sur- 
vivors were dispatched up country in 
irons, and the sole Englishwoman who 
escaped the ordeal was sent to Mur- 
shidabad to grace the Nawab's harem. 
Practically the little English community 
in Bengal had ceased to exist when the 
tyrannical Nawab had completed his 
operations. In fancied security he issued 
edicts designed to secure that the power 
which he hated should never again rear 
its head in Bengal. He even went so far 
as to re-name Calcutta Alinapore — the 
city of God. But he had reckoned with- 
out the growing sense that once helpless 
English traders possessed of their 
superiority in arms, and he had par- 
ticularly left out of his estimate one of 
the greatest soldier-statesmen that Eng- 
land ever possessed — Robert Clive, the 
obscure writer in the Company's service, 
who a few years previously in Southern 
India had laid the foundations of his 
great reputation by a memorable cam- 
paign in which the French domination 
in India received a mortal blow. 




Illurtrations from "Vkws in Calcutta,' by Capt. R. Jun.p, H.C.S. Publishea n .837, 



The Battle of Plasaey 

Rnbrct Clivt entrusted with tl^e command of an expedi- 
tioa to Bengal— Reoccupation of Calcutta and sacking 
of Hoogljly— Suraj-ud-Dowlah sues tor peace— 
Chandemagote attacked and occupied by the British— 
CHTcand Mir JaTar— British army marches to attack 
Sur*)-!**''"*"'"''— '-""'P''" <l'fMt of the latter at 
piaaey— Mir Jafar installed by Clive as Xawab of 
Bengal. Behar and Orissa— Profound effect of the 
Battle of Plassey— Enormous wealth acquired by 
Oiw and his associates— The Company's share o( the 

Clive was in Madras at the time that 
the news was received of Suraj-ud-Dow- 
lah's atuck on Calcutta with its lament- 
able sequel. He was immediately 
entrusted with the leadership of an 
expedition to avenge the disaster. Under 
his command were placed nine hundred 
British troops and fifteen hundred sepoys. 
Admiral Watson, who fort.mately also was 
in Madras at the time with his fleet of 
well-found ships, was sent to support the 
expedition with the naval power which 
had previously proved so valuable in 
Bengal. Contrary winds delayed the 
passage of the expedition, and it was not 
imtil December, several months after the 
Black Hole tragedy, that Bengal was 
reached. But once within the sphere of 
action the combined force speedily 
asserted its power. Calcutta was 
attacked and occupied without much 
difficulty, and Hooghly was stormed and 
sacked. The Nawab, thoroughly alarmed 
at the energetic operations of the in- 
vaders, sought an accommodation. Clive 
was for disregarding the overtures and 
continuing the war until more substantial 
victories had been obtained. But his 
ardent spirit was kept in check by the 
civilian council, who were eager to grasp 
the immediate advantages that a compo- 
sition with their arch-enemy and perse- 
cutor held out. A peace was, therefore, 
concluded on the understanding that the 
factory should be restored to the British 
and that compensation should be paid 
for the losses sustained by Suraj-ud- 
Dowlah's aggression. 

Before the negotiations for peace were 
terminated the shadow of a new trouble 
had arisen in the outbreak of war between 
Great Britain and France. Suraj-ud- 
Dowlah, smarting under the humiliations 
which Clive had inflicted upon him, 
o|>enetl up an intrigue with the French, 
whose support he invited for a new cam- 
paign against the British. Clive, obtain- 
ing knowledge of this move, and setting 
little store by the arrangement which he 
had by this time concluded with his wily 
enemy, resolved to anticipate the coali- 

tion of hostile forces by acting as the 
aggressor against the French. With the 
valuable support afforded by Watson's 
ships, Clive directed a successful attack 
against the French settlement at Chander- 
nagore. The fort was surrendered to 
him, and with it its garrison of five hun- 
dred Frenchmen. It was a brilliant feat 
of arms, and did much to re-establish 
British prestige. Suraj - ud - Dowlah 
recognized in it a deadly blow at his 
own power, and was torn with alternate 
gusts of passion and fear as he sought 
a means of checking this insolent power 
which had so. demonstratively crossed his 
path. The significance of the events had 
not been lost upon the Nawab's subjects, 
who had little love for him. ■ But he 
was still able to command powerful re- 
sources, and in a short period he had in 
the field a great army ready to drive 
the audacious Englishmen into the sea. 
Clive was under no delusions as to the 
magnitude of the task before him at this 
critical juncture of affairs. But he faced 
the situation with the cool determination 
which he ever showed in moments of 
danger. One of his first steps was to 
get into communication with the dis- 
affected element in Suraj-ud-Dowlah's 
dominions and complete an arrangement 
with Mir Jafar, a rival aspirant to the 
throne, for mutual aid. When his plans 
were completed he marched out at the 
head of his little army of i,ooo Euro- 
peans, 2,000 sepoys, and 8 pieces of 
artillery, to meet the Nawab's army, 
which consisted of 35,000 foot, 15,000 
horse, and 50 cannon. An essential part 
of the arrangement with Mir Jafar was 
that that worthy should at the appropriate 
moment join forces with the British, and 
that a combined attack should be de- 
livered. But Clive advanced as far as 
Kasimbazar without any sign of an inten- 
tion on the part of Mir Jafar to honour 
his part of the contract. Attempts made 
to elicit his intentions resulted in evasive 
replies, which only served to deepen the 
natural distrust which had been aroused 
by his inaction. 

Clive was now in a very difficult posi- 
tion. He had gone too far to retreat 
without danger, and to advance appeared 
almost suicidal, seeing how formidable 
were the forces opposed to his little con- 
tingent. In his perplexity Clive called 
a council of war, with the result pro- 
verbially attributed to such councils, 
that a decision was come to not to fight. 
But Clive, after mature thought, elected 
to disregard the view of the majority 

of his military colleagues, and deliver 
an attack at the earliest possible moment. 
His army was immediately set in motion, 
and when night fell on June 22, 1757, 
he camped in a grove of mango-trees 
near the village of Plassey, about seventy 
miles north of Calcutta. Here he was 
so close to the Nawab's army that his 
sleep was disturbed by the noise of the 
drums and cymbals with which the enemy 
forces were celebrating in advance the 
easy victory that they expected to win 
over the hated infidel. When morning 
broke the Nawab attacked with his entire 
force of artillery. The guns were badly 
served and nearly all the shots went wide. 
The little force of British artillery re- 
sponded with considerable effect on the 
serried masses of the enemy. The battle 
continued until noon, when the Nawab's 
army retired to an entrenched camp for 
their midday meal. Clive seized this 
opportunity to deliver an attack on one 
of the enemy's advanced posts. His men 
drove in the Nawab's forces, and, carry- 
ing everything before them, effected a 
lodgment in an angle of the camp. So 
impetuous was their onset that a panic 
seized the enemy, and they fled in con- 
fusion, leaving Clive in possession of the 
position, with the guns and baggage and 
the entire impedimenta of Suraj-ud- 
Dowlah's great army. The Nawab him- 
self fled from the field on a camel to 
Murshidabad, from whence, after a brief 
sojourn, he proceeded in disguise to 
Patna. Meanwhile Mir Jafar, finding how 
completely fortune had favoured the 
British, had made his peace with Clive 
and had been saluted by him as Nawab 
of Bengal, Behar, and Orissa. The actual 
ceremony of installation took place amid 
much pomp at Murshidabad, whither 
Clive had proceeded immediately after 
the battle with an imposing escort. 

The Battle of Plassey was one of the 
most notable victories ever won in Asia. 
From it dates the real foundation of the 
British Empire in India. Hitherto the 
British had been mere traders, living a 
precarious existence on sufferance. 
Henceforward they were to take an 
ever-increasing part as administrators 
and rulers in directing the destinies of 
the country. It was, perhaps, the 
cheapest triumph ever won by British 
arms, for the total loss sustained by 
Clive's force in the battle was only twenty 
killed and fifty wounded, casualties no 
greater than those of many a street fight. 
But it was, no doubt, quite as much due 
to diplomatic as to military qualities that 



Illustrations from "Oriental Scenery," by Thomas Daniell (i795)- 



the vengeance wreaked on Suraj-ud-Dow- 
lah was so complete. Clive was a states- 
man as well as a soldier, and he turned 
his military advantages to the fullest 
account. History has reproached him 
severely for some of his dealings in this 
momentous period in his career, and it 
would be idle to assert that his actions 
will all bear the full light of day. But 
the credit belongs to him that he dared 
greatly, and that by his calm courage 
and prescience he opened up a path which 
led his country directly to the summit 
of Imperial greatness. 

The immediate result of the Battle of 
Plassey was the pouring of a great stream 
of wealth into the coffers of the Com- 
pany and into the pockets of all who had 
been prominent on the British side in the 
operations which terminated in the battle 
and Mir Jafar's elevation to the throne. 
Macaulay in his picturesque way describes 
the apportionment of the spoils of vic- 
tory. '■ A sum of £800,000 sterling in 
coined silver," he says, " was sent down 
the river from Moorshidabad to Fort 
William. The fleet which conveyed this 
treasure consisted of a hundred boats, 
and performed its triumphal voyage with 
flags flying and music playing. Calcutta, 
which a few months before had been deso- 
late, was now more prosperous than ever. 
Trade revived, and signs of affluence 
appeared in every English house. As 
to Clive, there was no limit to his acqui- 
sitions but his own moderation. The 
treasury of Bengal was thrown open to 
him. There were piled up, after the 
usage of Indian princes, immense masses 
of coin, among which might not seldom 
be detected the florins and byzants with 
which, before any European ship had 
turned the Cape of Good Hope, the 
Venetians purchased thi; stuffs and spices 
of the East. Clive walked between heaps 
of gold and silver, crowned with rubies 
and diamonds, and was at liberty to help 
himself. He accepted between £200,000 
and £300,000." Nor were these pay- 
ments in solid coin the sole rewards 
reaped for the victory. The Company 
obtained the grant of the zamindari, or 
landholder's rights, over an extensive 
tract of country round Calcutta known 
as the District of the Twenty-four Par- 
ganas, and Clive somewhat later was 
given as a jagir, or military fief, the quit 
rent of these lands, amounting in value to 
nearly £30,000 a year. In after years 
these transactions became the subject of 
heated criticism and prolonged inquiry 
in England, and it was then that Clive, 

defending his action before a Parlia- 
mentary Committee, uttered his historic 
exclamation, " My God, Mr. Chairman, 
at this moment I stand astonished at my 
own moderation ! " That remark is a 
pregnant estimate of the situation as it 
existed in the period following the battle. 
The flow of wealth knew no limit so far 
as the principal actor in the scene was 
concerned. The native powers that then 
existed were only too ready to purchase 
his invaluable support at any price he 
might demand. It was a demoralizing 
position, which in due course produced 
its inevitable fruit in the disorganization 
of the public service, and Clive cannot 
be entirely acquitted of responsibility for 
the results. But in fairness we must bear 
in mind that the traditions of the Com- 
pany's service in those days were not 
exalted, and that the acquisition of wealth 
by irregular means was encouraged by 
the miserably low scale of official 

After Plassey 

Clive's great reputation— He is created Governor of 
Bengal— Sends to Madras an army to fight tlie French 
—Shah Alum and the Nawab of Oudh march against 
Mir Jafar — Clive defeats the movement — Mir Jafar 
intrigues with the Dutch against the English— Clive 
attacks and captures the Dutch station of Chinsurah— 
Clive returns to England— Demoralization in Bengal — 
The massacre of Patna— The Battle of Baxar— Clive 
proceeds to India for the last time— His leforms— 
Warren Hastings appointed Governor of Bengal. 

The eff^ect of Clive's success on the home 
public was tremendous. They dimly saw 
in it the realization of a dream of Indian 
conquest which had long fascinated them, 
but which after the Black Hole tragedy 
seemed more fanciful than ever. The 
East India Company, in their joy at the 
wonderful transformation effected in their 
affairs by brilliant and courageous leader- 
ship, constituted Clive Governor of 
Bengal, with the highest honours that 
it was possible for them to confer. This 
dignity was so natural a corollary of the 
achievements of the young soldier-states- 
man in the field that even before the 
Company's instructions arrived he had, 
by the general request and desire of the 
Council, assumed the supreme position. 
Nothing, indeed, could surpass the pres- 
tige that Clive enjoyed on this morrow 
of his great triumph. He was courted 
and feared by every one. The whole 
Indian world, with Mir Jafar at its head, 
was at his feet, ready to do his instant 

Not without justification was the trust 
reposed in Clive. His greatness was not 


limited to ability to lead in the field. 
He possessed all the qualities which make 
the successful statesman— sound judg- 
ment, foresight, tact, and ability to take 
quick decisions. He had wide knowledge 
of India, and had that instinct for getting 
into the Indian mind which all our great 
administrators in the East have possessed 
in a greater or less degree as an essen- 
tial part of their mental equipment. 
Knowing what he knew of the then exist- 
ing conditions in India, and understand- 
ing, as he well did, that the British could 
not rest on the laurels of Plassey, Clive 
from the outset of his career as head 
of the Bengal Government pursued an 
energetic policy. When the call came 
from Madras for support in the cam- 
paign against the French under Lally and 
Bussy, he sent south a considerable body 
of troops, and in that way assisted 
materially to secure the ultimate pre- 
dominance of Britain in that theatre. 

While the bulk of Clive's army was 
still away fighting in Southern India a 
serious crisis arose in Bengal itself owing 
to the rebellion of Shah Alum, the Shah- 
zada, or Imperial Prince. Shah .\lum, 
supported by the Nawab of Oudh, 
marched with forty thousand men with 
the object of dethroning Mir Jafar and 
securing for himself a vantage ground 
for his larger designs. He got as far 
as Patna, and invested the city, greatly 
to the terror of Mir Jafar. Clive, whose 
advice was sought, strongly urged his 
protege to deal boldly with the position. 
He promised his powerful support if the 
course he recommended was followed. 
Mir Jafar, gladly acquiescing in the pro- 
posed resistance, gave Clive the cue for 
the advance which he had seen to be in- 
evitable from the first. The British com- 
mander could only muster a force of under 
3,000 soldiers, of whom only 450 were 
Europeans. But such was the glamour 
of his name that when Shah Alum heard 
of his approach he abandoned his invest- 
ment of Patna and precipitately fled, 
leaving his huge army to disperse in the 
absence of leadership. 

Relieved of a great danger, Mir Jafar 
overwhelmed his benefactor with atten- 
tions, but his gratitude was not more 
lasting than that of a despot rescued from 
threatened peril usually is. Jealousy of 
Clive's power soon made itself con- 
spicuous in his policy. In his desire 
to emancipate himself from what had 
become a galling thraldom the Nawab 
opened up an intrigue with the Dutch, 
who were then the only European Power 




Illustrations from "Antiquities of Dacca." Published in 1817. 



in India capable of being an effective 
ally against the English. The Dutch, 
who had long conceived designs for 
establishing their supremacy in Eastern 
India, responded to the overtures made 
to them, and the Batavia Government dis- 
patched an expedition composed of seven 
well-found ships to co-operate with Mir 
Jafar against the British. Clive, still 
heavily handicapped by the absence of 
a large part of his force in Madras, was 
now confronted with a situation of great 
peril. But he never hesitated as to the 
policy that he must pursue in the emer- 
gency. He clearly perceived that he must 
attack the Dutch before they could form 
a junction with the Nawab if the situation 
was to be saved. Acting with character- 
istic energy, he made a combined water 
and land attack on the Hollanders. 
Although the Dutch were superior in 
numbers they were unable to withstand 
the onset of Clive 's disciplined forces, 
and a great victory for British arms was 
the result. It gave the last blow to 
Dutch pretensions to dominion in India. 
Hctjceforward the Dutch settlement at 
Chinsurah was under strict regulation 
and existed on sufferance. In other parts, 
notably in Southern India, a semblance 
of power was maintained for some time 
longer, but the humiliating terms which 
Clive wrung from the factors of Chin- 
surah were the real death warrant of 
Dutch ambitions in India. 

When Clive had made the British posi- 
tion in Bengal secure in this fashion he 
proceeded to England on a well-earned 
holiday. For five years he remained in 
England, dazzling the fashionable world 
with a display of riches which seemed 
fabulous. In the meantime the conduct 
of affairs in Bengal fell into the hands of 
men who had been raised to high position 
under the corrupting influences of the 
reign of profusion and extravagance which 
the Battle of Plassey ushered in. The 
natural consequences followed in a degra- 
dation of the whole system of administra- 
tion. Extortion was practised as a fine 
art, and the principal end which almost 
every official had in view was the accumu- 
lation of a private fortune which would 
enable him to figure as a man of fashion 
at home. Following these principles of 
conduct, the Bengal Council soon saw 
fit, in 1 761, to remove Mir Jafar from 
the throne and place upon it a creature 
of their own, Mir -Kasim. Substantial 
rewards were paid to his sponsors by the 
new Nawab for his honour, and his 
generous recognition of the power that 

elevated him also took the form of the 
grant to the Company of the three dis- 
tricts of Bardwan, Midnapur, and Chitta- 
gong. But Mir Kasim did not long 
remain in the favour of his patrons. 
They expected more of him than he would 
or could give, and he, on his part, was 
irritated at the effective way in which 
the Company squeezed the sponge before 
he himself had an opportunity of trying 
his hand at the operation. Eventually 
he went off from Murshidabad to 
Monghyr, where he took up a strong 
position ready to cross swords with the 
British if • a favourable opportunity 
offered. He had not long to wait 
for his opening. In 1763 a dispute in 
reference to claims made by the servants 
of the Company to carry on their private 
trade without the payment of local dues 
led to a rupture. In the course of its 
passage up the river an English boat 
was fired upon by the Nawab's officials. 
Immediately the whole province became 
aflame. Mir Kasim, who had carefully laid 
his plans, attacked and practically anni- 
hilated a force of about two thousand 
sepoys at Patna, and at the same time 
instituted a vendetta against all English- 
men in the province. 

The Bengal Council took energetic 
measures to meet the formidable situa- 
tion which had arisen. A series of well- 
organized moveincnts led to successive 
defeats of the Nawab's troops, first on 
the banks of the Adjee River, on 
July 17th, then, two days later, at 
Kutwah ; again, on August 2nd, at 
Ghecriah, and finally, on August i ith. 
at OodeynuUa. These reverses aroused 
the fanatical rage of the Nawab to such 
an extent that he determined to wreak 
his vengeance on the comparatively large 
force — numbering over two hundred — of 
European officials and soldiers he had in 
his power as a result of the earlier 
operations at Patna. Orders given to his 
native generals for the execution of his 
shameful plan elicited from them a noble 
refusal, accompanied by the remark that 
they were soldiers and not assassins. 
But Mir Kasim had at his elbow a pliant 
tool for the. dark work in hand in Dyce 
Sombre, a foreign adventurer, probably 
of Germanic origin, from Strassburg, who 
had come out to India as a carpenter, and, 
like many other men of his class, had 
found an easy road to fortune in native 
military employ. Sombre, without the 
least qualms of pity, took up the rejected 
commission, and proceeded to execute it 
with an energy that seemed to indicate 


a real zest for villainy. On October 5th, 
having surrounded the building in which 
the prisoners were interned, he sent for 
the three leading civilians of the party- 
Ellis, Hay, and Lushington. No sooner 
had they approached than they and the 
party accompanying them were attacked 
and killed, their mutilated bodies after- 
wards being cast into an adjacent well. 
Subsequently, a body of sepoys, under 
Sombre's orders, mounted the roof of the 
house and poured down a deadly fire upon 
the unfortunate prisoners who were in the 
yard below. Some who escaped the 
murderous volleys took refuge in an inner 
chamber, where they desperately defended 
themselves against the parties of sepoys 
sent against them. The sepoys, struck 
by the heroism shown, sought to be 
excused from proceeding further with the 
massacre. But Sombre would accept 
nothing short of a full tale of slaughtered 
victims, and, by energetically exercising 
his authority, ultimately achieved his vile 
purpose. So complete was the holocaust 
that even Mr. Ellis's infant child was 
murdered by Sombre's directions. Alto- 
gether, more than fifty civil and military 
officers and over one hundred European 
soldiers perished on the occasion. 

An immediate effect of this terrible 
massacre was to lead to a concentration 
of English power against the Nawab and 
the double-dyed villain his accomplice. 
By a swift march Patna was taken on 
November 6th and Mir Kasim forced to 
retreat to the territory of the Nawab 
Vizier of Oudh. A demand that the fugi- 
tive should be handed over being rejected, 
the Bengal Council took measures to en- 
force their views. This led to a coalition 
of the forces of Shah Alum, who was now 
Emperor, and of the Nawab of Oudh 
against the British. The danger, formid- 
able enough of itself, was, as time wore 
on, intensified in 1764 by a mutiny of 
sepoys. Major (afterwards Sir) Hector 
Munro, who was in command, took 
prompt action to suppress this rising, and 
by dealing out stern punishment to the 
ringleaders ultimately restored discipline. 
Major Munro afterwards, at the B.ittle 
of Baxar, showed that the moral of his 
force had not been permanently affected 
by events by winning a great victory, 
which placed Oudh at his mercy and 
made the Mogul Emperor a creature of 
British policy. 

The events which had been passing in 
Bengal in these years following Clives 
departure had a powerful reflex action 
in England. Not without good reason ^ 


Jllustrations from Mrs lieliios' ■■ MuiinLTd in Ucn^ial." I'liblishcd in iS^2. 




the directors became seriously alarmed 
at the evidence that almost every ship 
brought of the increasing anarchy into 
which Bengal was falling under the in- 
fluence of incompetent administration. 
The cry went up that Clive alone could 
evolve order out of the chaos that had 
been created, and, bowing to the uni\-ersal 
demand, the great soldier-statesman (now 
Baron Clive of Plassey in the peerage of 
the United Kingdom) went once more to 
India. On landing at Calcutta in May 
1765 he found that the machinery of 
government was terribly disorganized. 
The discoveries he made had a profound 
effect on him. " Alas ! " he said in 
a communication home, " how is the 
English name sunk ! 1 could not avoid 
paying the tribute of a few tears to the 
departed and lost fame of the British 
nation— irrecoverably so, I fear. How- 
ever, I do declare, by that great Being 
who is the searcher of all hearts, and to 
whom we must be accountable if there 
be a hereafter, that I am come out with 
a mind superior to all corruption, and 
that I am determined to destroy these 
great and growing evils or perish in the 
attempt." Clive was as good as his 
word. Before he left India, at the end 
of an eighteen months' sojourn, he had 
laid solidly the foundations of an edifice 
of administration which left no effective 
opening for the evils which so rankly 
flourished at the time. Besides this work 
of official reorganization, Clive carried out 
a great scheme of territorial adjustment, 
which may be said to have settled the 
lines of British domination in India. 
Preserving still the fiction of Mogul over- 
lordship, he entered into arrangements 
with the Nawab of Oudh by which that 
province was handed back in considera- 
tion of a payment of £500,000 towards 
the cost of the war, and he agreed to 
yield up the provinces of Allahabad and 
Kora to the Emperor Shah Alum in return 
for the grant to the Company of the 
diwani, or fiscal administration, of Bengal, 
Behar, and Orissa, with the jurisdiction of 
the Northern Circars. An essential part 
of the arrangement in regard to Bengal 
was that the Nawabship should be main- 
tained, and that an allowance of £600,000 
should be paid for its maintenance out 
of the revenues of the province. 

In this fashion Clive rounded off his 
official career in India. Ere he had dis- 
appeared from the scene the great name 
of Warren Hastings, which is indis- 
solubly associated with his in the foun- 
dation of the British Empire in India, 

had come to the front as that of an official 
of great promise. When Clive quitted 
India for the last time in 1767 Hastings 
had already served nearly sixteen years 
in Bengal. He had advanced by suc- 
cessive stages in the official hierarchy, 
until in 1769 he had reached the dignified 
position of Member of Council at Madras. 
He remained at the Southern Presidency 
until 1772. when his conspicuous talents 
and long service marked him out for pro- 
motion to the still higher office of 
Governor of Bengal. With his assump- 
tion of this appointment opened the 
most important period of his life, and 
with it was ushered in a new epoch in 
the government of India. 

Consolidation of the British Power 

Hastings iustUutes reforms abolishing tlic dual syslem of 
conlrol— The Company "stand forth as Uewan "— 
Passage of the Regulating Act creating a supreme 
government in Bengal— The new administration torn 
by faction— Hastings's great measures— His return to 
England — L/Ord Cornwallis's administration — The 
permanent settlement of Bengal— Consolidation of 
British power — Financial difficulties. 

When Hastings arrived in Calcutta he 
bore with him instructions to initiate a 
series of reforms in the administration 
which e.\perience had shown to be neces- 
sary. The dual system of control which 
Clive had established had not borne the 
test of actual experience. " There was," 
says Kaye in his " History of the Admin- 
istration of the East India Company," 
" no responsibility and no control. The 
strong preyed upon the weak — and the 
weak had none to look up to for protec- 
tion. Misgovernment brought its wonted 
bitter fruit, and the revenue began to 
decline. So, in 1769, European advisers 
were appointed as a check to the native 
functionaries. The most elaborate in- 
structions were issued to them. It is 
hard to say what they were not expected 
to do ; but still the double government 
continued to work grievously, ."^nd there 
were those who thought that the super- 
visors only made confusion worse con- 
founded and corruption more corrupt." 
It was Hastings's special mission to 
change all this by initiating an entirely 
new system, under which the entire con- 
trol of the admmistration was to be 
vested in British officials. To adopt the 
words of the historic proclamation of May 
II, 1772, announcing the reform, the 
Company was from that time forward to 
" stand forth publicly in the character 
of Dewan." "This," as Kaye observes, 
" was the greatest step in the progress 
of Anglo-Indian administration ever made 


by the Company — the greatest adminis- 
trative revolution, perhaps, to which 
Bengal had ever been subjected." 

A task so tremendously important as 
that which was embodied in the Com- 
pany's instructions was not to be quickly 
discharged, and Hastings spent many 
busy and eventful years in organizing 
the government on the new basis. If 
he had been left to himself to carry out 
the change unaided, with the unrivalled 
knowledge that he possessed of India, 
all might have been well. But Parlia- 
ment in 1773 had passed an important 
measure, known in history as the Regu- 
lating Act, under which great constitu- 
tional changes were effected in India. By 
the provisions of this Act a Governor and 
Council, consisting of four members, was 
appointed to Bengal, with supreme 
authority over all the Presidencies of 
India, and a Supreme Court of Judica- 
ture was created, with its seat at Cal- 
cutta. The appointment of the four 
members of the Supreme Council, as well 
as of the judges, was vested in the Crown, 
and the right of choice as regards the 
Members of Council was exercised by the 
dispatch to India of General Clavering, 
Colonel Monson, and Mr. Philip Francis, 
not one of whom had had any prior ex- 
perience of India. Mr. Barlow, the fourth 
member, was an experienced servant of 
the Company, and might in favourable 
circumstances have redressed the balance 
which weighed so heavily against experi- 
ence. But, unhappily, almost from the 
first a cabal was organized against Hast- 
ings, with the object of concentrating in 
the hands of the trio of inexperienced 
members all the governing power. Ably 
led by Francis, who is known to literary 
fame from his association with the con- 
troversy as to the authorship of " The 
Letters of Junius," this majority of 
the Council speedily made Hastings's 
authority to a large extent a nullity. 
The story of that remarkable conflict, with 
its tragic sequel in the execution of the 
Brahman Nuncoomar on a charge of for- 
gery, is told by Macaulay, with many and 
gross inaccuracies in points of detail, in 
his well-known essay on Hastings. It 
is not necessary to dwell upon it here 
further than to say that the enmities then 
aroused were largely responsible for the 
subsequent impeachment of Hastings, 
which lives among the most absorbing 
features of British history in the 
eighteenth century. 

The changes introduced by Hastings 
were of a far-reaching description. 



From Sir Charles DOyley's " Town and Port of Calcutta. ' Published 1840. 



Bengal was divided into fourteen dis- 
tricts, and over each was appointed a 
European official, termed a collector, who 
was charged with the duty of collecting 
the public revenue and of presiding over 
the Diwani Ada'.at, or civil courts. It 
was also the collector's business to keep 
an eye on the Faujdari Adalat, or 
criminal courts, which were still presided 
over by the Mahommcdan officials. 
Appeals from the local civil and criminal 
courts were allowed to two superior courts 
in Calcutta. Subsequently this system 
was changed by the substitution for the 
collectoratcs of six provincial councils at 
Calcutta, Burdwan, Dacca, Murshidabad, 
Dinajpur, and Patna. But later still, in 
Lord Cornwallis's time, the Hastings's 
plan was revived in a somewhat extended 
form, the collector under the new regime 
filling the position of civil judge and 

Now that Hastings's work in India can 
be seen in its true perspective, free from 
the distorting mediums of personal 
animosity and political prejudice, it is 
impossible not to yield to it the meed 
of our highest admiration. With patient 
statesmanship, illumined by the resources 
of a mind stored with the rich experience 
of nearly a quarter century's contact with 
Indian problems, the great man gradu- 
ally evolved the complete machinery of 
a system of internal administration. It 
is largely upon his measures that the 
present official organization of Bengal is 
based. If he had accomplished nothing 
else he would have won an indisputable 
title to enduring fame. But side by side 
with his work of domestic reform he con- 
ducted a diplomacy of the most far-reach- 
ing kind ; he made and unmade poten- 
tates and he directed the movement of 
great armies, all his operations tending 
to the aggrandisement of the power of 
his native country. That he perpetrated 
some bad moral blunders from the stand- 
point of British integrity and fair dealing 
is not seriously to be denied. But it is 
impossible to separate him from the 
system of which he was a part — a system 
in which successful administration was 
judged by the extent of the exactions that 
could be squeezed out of the unfortunate 
population. Hastings in this matter was 
the good servant of a bad cause. Driven 
forward by the inexorable demands from 
home for financial results, he acted in- 
judiciously, and even tyrannically, but 
rarely had failure to be written on any 
of his projects. 

In 1781, when Hastings retired from 

India, the foundations had been laid of 
a stable system of government and a 
foreign policy which extended to almost 
every part of the continent. It now 
remained for others to rear upon the base 
of his far-seeing measures an enduring 
superstructure. Fortunately at this junc- 
ture there was nominated as the head 
of the Government of India a noble- 
man of high moral purpose and good 
attainments in the person of Lord Corn- 
wallis. The new Governor-General, the 
first of a long line of aristocratic pro- 
consuls who have ruled India, addressed 
himself to the work of administrative con- 
struction with a zeal and judgment which 
bore fruit in a code of written laws and 
regulations which gave luminous expres- 
sion to the aspiration of the British nation 
to make the government of India worthy 
of them. Under his official auspices 
criminal jurisdiction was first entrusted 
to Europeans, and the Nizamat Sadr 
."Xdalat, or Court of Criminal Juris- 
diction, at Calcutta was established. 
Another of his measures was the sepa- 
ration of the jurisdiction of the district 
collector and judge. But the most im- 
portant of his reforms was the Permanent 
Settlement of the Land Revenue of 
Bengal. This great scheme, introduced 
in its final form in 1793, gave rise to a 
fierce controversy, which extended over 
many years, and even still has an 
academic interest for land reformers. It 
had, no doubt, many defects, not the least 
serious of which was that it did not suf- 
ficiently protect the rights of the occupy- 
ing tenants. In later years many 
attempts were made by legislation to 
remedy the defects in the system, and 
something like an equipoise was estab- 
lished between the propertied rights of 
the zamindar, or landowner, on the one 
hand, and the interests of the ryot, or 
tenant, on the other. But it is open to 
serious question whether it has been 
possible entirely to recover what was lost 
by the enforcement of the one-sided con- 
ception of the landed rights of Bengal 
embodied in Lord Cornwallis's settle- 
ment. Its greatest value, perhaps, is that 
it established for the first time a system 
of revenue collection on a scientific basis. 
The native poiJulation, instead of being 
subjected to the evils of frequent and 
arbitrary changes in the method of col- 
lection, knew exactly where it stood, and 
was able to conduct its life accordingly. 
The end of the eighteenth century 
found the British power well consoli- 
dated from the mouths of the Ganges 


to Benares. It became the duty of Lord 
Wellesley, who succeeded Lord Corn- 
wallis, after an interim of five years filled 
by the colourless regime of Sir John 
Shore, to carry the British flag farther, 
so as to make it the supreme authority 
throughout the country, and so safeguard 
the position already secured in the three 
Presidencies, but most conspicuously in 
Bengal. This glorious chapter in British 
Indian annals belongs to the general his- 
tory of India, and need not be touched 
upon here further than to say that in 
consequence of the brilliant victories 
secured over Ti\n\ Sahib in the South 
and the Mahratias in Western and 
Central India, the centre of government 
in Calcutta attained a new splendour. It 
was in this period that some of the most 
important of the city's institutions — 
Government House amongst them — were 
erected, and it is from the same spacious 
age that dates the inception of the Presi- 
dency banking system. Calcutta life 
grew in splendour with the steady march 
of the British arms ; but the times were 
not entirely free fiom anxiety. The great 
Napoleonic war was then opening, and 
Britain, as in our day, was face to face 
with a struggle in which its very exist- 
ence as a nation was threatened. How 
well her sons comported themselves, 
wliethcr in the homeland or in exile, 
the records of the time show. In India 
a great wave of patriotism swept over 
the European communities, and large 
sums were contributed to the support of 
the national cause. In Calcutta volunteer 
forces were formed, and the Maidan every 
morning resounded with military words 
of conmiand addressed to miscellaneous 
bodies of civilians who had banded them- 
selves together for the aid of authority 
in the event of a not unexpected raid by 
" the little Corporal." 

Financial difficulties arising out of the 
state of war that existed in Europe and 
in India itself occupied a large share of 
the attention of the Supreme Government 
in the early years of the new century. It 
is an interesting fact, and one which en- 
ables us to realize how enormously British 
credit in India has enhanced in the past 
century, that the (jovernment borrowings 
in Calcutta at that period carried interest 
at the rate of 12 per cent., and that in 
1801 this 12 per cent, paper — Treasury 
notes payable in the ensuing autumn - 
was selling at a discount of 3 or 4 per 
cent. The crisis was weathered in due 
time, but the financial stress left its mark 
for a long period on the administration. 

From ■■Panoramic Views of Calcutta," by Wni. Wood. Junr. Publislied in 183,?. 
From ■■ Panoramic Views of Calcutta," by \Vm. Wood, Junr. 

From ■■Panoramic Viewi of Calcutta.' by Wm. Wood, Jimr, 
From "Sail's Views." Pubr.s'.ied in li^J- 



A Century of Progress 

North- West ProTinces Rovernment formed— The liberty 
ot the Press granted by Mctcalle-The first Burmese 
War— Annexatioa of Assam— Land reform— The first 
lieutcnaot-Govcrnor appointed— The Mutiny of 1857 
—An era of peaceful progress- The partition of Bengal 
—The coronation Durbar changes— Conclusion. 

With the lapse of years and the growth 
of the activities of the administration, in- 
creasing difficulty was found in effectively 
governing the huge area which was in- 
cluded in the Province of Bengal. As 
early as 1808 a proposal was made that 
a separate system of government should 
be established in the North-VVest Pro- 
vinces. Nothing came of the scheme then, 
but the question was revived in 1829, 
when the division was strongly recom- 
mended by a Finance Committee 
appointed by the Supreme Government. 
Lord William Bentinck, the then Gover- 
nor-General, was opposed to the separa- 
tion of authority, and held that if a 
change was to he made it should be the 
removal of the Supreme Goverrunent to 
the North-West Provinces and the dele- 
gation of Bengal business to local authori- 
ties in Calcutta. The influences at home 
in favour of the creation of the new 
Government were, however, too strong to 
be resisted, and when the Bill for the 
renewal of the Company's Charter was 
passed in 1833 it embodied a scheme for 
the establishment of a fourth Presidency 
with its seat at Agra. Eventually the 
project was revised, and in the place of 
the larger Government designed in the 
Charter Act, a subordinate administration, 
with a Lieutenant-Governor at its head, 
came into being. 

The period during which this change 
was being discussed witnessed also a 
prolonged and acrimonious discussion in 
regard to the liberty of the Press in India, 
and more especially in Bengal. In its 
earliest days the Calcutta Press, like that 
of every Indian centre, had reprehensible 
features. It dealt largely in scurrility, 
and showed an entire lack of responsi- 
bility. Gradually as Calcutta grew in 
importance the character of its news- 
papers improved, but the old taint clung 
to the Press, and when the war broke 
out with France at the end of the 
eighteenth century Lord Wellesley had no 
difficulty in finding reasons for establish- 
ing a rigorous censorship. The regula- 
tions framed were very drastic, involving 
the suppression of the offending paper 
and the deportation of its editor in the 
event of infringement of them. They 
were probably a necessary provision for 

the state of war which existed at the 
time, but they were incompatible with the 
era of peace which followed, and when 
the Marquess of Hastings proceeded to 
India in 18 14, he caused the restrictions 
to be relaxed to a very large extent, in 
spite of the protests of the local officials. 
On Lord Hastings's departure in 1823 
the supreme office was held temporarily 
by Mr. John Adam, one of the old 
oligarchy of Calcutta who had objected 
to the policy of gentle dealing with the 
Press, and that gentleman took upon him- 
self to re-enforce the Press restrictions. 
The weight of his authority fell upon 
Mr. J. Silk Buckingham, a journalist of 
some standing, whose name has become 
famous in connection with the struggles 
of the Press for freedom. Mr. Bucking- 
ham was seized and deported to England, 
and his property in Calcutta was rendered 
worthless. Afterwards the East India 
Company had to pay dearly for the arbi- 
trariness of their servant, but meanwhile 
the Indian Press was put under the lash 
of a new set of regulations of a most 
stringent kind, issued on March 14th and 
April 15, 1823. These ill-considered 
proposals added fuel to the fire of the 
resentment excited by Buckingham's de- 
portation, but the forces of reaction were 
for the time being too strong to permit 
of a change of policy being made. 
During Lord Amherst's Governor- 
Generalship, and still more during that 
of his successor. Lord William Bentinck, 
the regulations were allowed to fall into 
disuse. But it was not until Sir Charles 
(afterwards Lord) Metcalfe filled the 
office of Governor-General temporarily in 
1835 that the Indian Press was actually 
freed. In .April of that year he caused 
to be passed a law repealing the Press 
regulations throughout India, and sub- 
stituting for them a new enactment of a 
mild and unexceptionable character. 
Thereafter until quite modern times the 
Bengal Press, in common with Indian 
journalism, generally went its way un- 
shackled, to the infinite advantage not 
only of the Press itself but of the interests 
of the country. 

."Ks the lines of British rule in India 
broadened the military operations neces- 
sitated from time to time by political 
exigencies, though, of course, directed by 
the Supreme Government, became less 
directly associated with the Bengal ad- 
ministration as such. The province, how- 
ever, was very seriously involved in the 
prosecution of the first Burmese War in 
1824, and sent out two of the three expe- 


ditions which formed the army of inva- 
sion. One of these proceeded up the 
Brahmaputra into Assam, and the other 
took the land route through Arakan to 
Chittagong. Some initial reverses on the 
frontier, and notably the cutting up of 
a small British force in Assam, created 
for the time a most unpleasant impres- 
sion in Calcutta, and special measures 
were taken in view of what seemed to 
the fevered imaginations of the local 
public an imminent Burmese invasion. 
But in due course the might of British 
arms was asserted, and Assam, Cachar, 
and other territory passed under the 
Company's rule. 

In spite of the persistent demands 
made upon the Bengal Army during the 
wars of the nineteenth century, domestic 
rather than military problems engaged 
the attention of the Government during 
the earlier decades of that period. The 
land settlement was a continuous source 
of unrest and heated controversy. As 
has been noted, the settlement made by 
Lord Cornwallis took too little account of 
the cultivator's rights, and the partiality 
shown for the landlord had been aggra- 
vated by stringent regulations passed 
in 1799 and 18 12, which placed the 
tenants at the mercy of rack-renting land- 
lords. After prolonged discussion the 
question was seriously taken up in 1859, 
when a Land Law was passed which 
greatly curtailed the landlord's powers 
of enhancing rent in certain cases. Even 
this legislation was found in practice to 
be inadequate to remove the admitted 
grievances of the cultivators, and it was 
not until 1885 that finality was reached 
by the carrying of legislation embodying 
the recommendations of a Commission 
which sat in 1879 to inquire into the land 
system of the province. I 

Before this great reform had reached 
fruition the entire administrative system 
of Bengal had undergone a striking 
change by the creation of a definitely 
local executive with a Lieutenant-Gover- 
nor at its head. The old arrangement by 
which the Supreme Government was re- 
sponsible for the working of the adminis- • 
trative machinery in the province served 
.very well for the time when the British 
power was in its infancy, but with the 
growth of the vast interests beyond the 
confines of Bengal which flowed from the 
various extensions of British territory on 
the continent, consequent upon the over- 
throw of the Mogul and the Mahratta,- 
power, the need came to be felt for a 
system which left the control of local 



Illustrations from Mrs. Bdnos' "Manners in Bengal." Published in 1832. 



affairs in the hands of officials specially 
appointed to deal with Bengal affairs. 
Sir Frederick Halliday was the first of 
the series of Lieutenant-Governors. 
Since his day a long series of able men, 
drawn from the ranks of the Covenanted 
Civil Service, have filled the office. 

The great Mutiny of 1857, which for a 
time shook the foundations of British 
power in India, deeply involved Bengal, 
whose native army supplied the principal 
material to the forces of the rebels. But 
apart from the famous incident at 
Barrackpore, which gave the signal for 
the rising, and such episodes as the dis- 
turbances at Dacca and the heroic defence 
maintained by a handful of civilians and 
Sikhs at Arrah, the province did not be- 
come the scene of any notable conflicts. 
An enormous amount of demoralization, 
however, was caused by the loosening of 
the ties of discipline which followed upon 
the successive mutinies of the native regi- 
ments in Lower Bengal, and a consider- 
able time elapsed after the crushing of 
the revolt in Northern and Central India 
before normal conditions were restored. 

The noble Proclamation of Queen Vic- 
toria, announcing the transfer of the 
government of India to the Crown, which 
was read at a great durbar at Allahabad 
on November i, 1858, by Lord Canning, 
ushered in for Bengal, as for the rest of 
India, an era of peace and progress. A 
vigorous i>olicy of public works construc- 
tion was inaugurated on lines which the 
past troubles had shown to be desirable. 
In particular the construction of railways 
was actively promoted, and nowhere in 
India was the need for this means of 
communication greater at this time than 
iu Bengal. Before the Mutiny broke out 
the entire railway system of the province 
consisted of a short section of what is 
now the East India Railway, starting from 
Calcutta. This had proved of great ser- 
vice to the military during the Mutiny, 
and the work was now pushed on ener- 
getically. Other lines were projected, 
and in due course the magnificent system 
of communication now seen came into 

TF it be true that happiness attends a 
•'■ country that has no history, that coun- 
try is doubly favoured if it has no recent 
history ; for, of course, it is the events of 
to-day and yesterday that really count, 
rather than those of centuries ago. 
Judged by the poet's exacting standard, 
Bengal should at the present time be in 

being. Meanwhile trade developed enor- 
mously, bringing into e.xistence thriving 
centres of commerce in regions which had 
hitherto been mere jungle. These activi- 
ties are treated at length in other sections 
of this volume, and call for no further 
reference here. Nor is it necessary in 
this historical survey to do more than 
record briefly the measures associated 
with the Partition of Bengal introduced 
during Lord Curzon's Viceroyalty in 
1905. The scheme then introduced, 
based on a long-entertained desire to 
make the government of Bengal more 
effective by dividing the province, cut off 
the eastern districts of the old Presidency, 
and, combining these with Assam, consti- 
tuted a new province with the designation 
of Eastern Bengal. Though at the time 
no very serious opposition was offered 
to the project, it was afterwards bitterly 
assailed, and a formidable agitation was 
promoted in favour of the reversal of 
the policy of partition. Grave disorders, 
incited by an anarchical propaganda 
which was conducted in more or less 
open association with the constitutional 
movement, arose in various parts of the 
Presidency, and were a source of much 
anxiety to the Government. The King's 
visit to India in connection with the Coro- 
nation ceremonies at the end of 191 1 
brought a welcome reaction from the tur- 
bulence of the period of political discon- 
tent which had preceded it, and the 
memorable proclamation of State changes 
which was made at the great Delhi 
Durbar on December 12, 191 1, opened 
the way to a new era of peace and re- 
conciliation. Amongst the measures 
announced by His Majesty was the 
removal of the capital of India from Cal- 
cutta to Delhi and the substitution for 
the partition scheme of 1905 of a new 
arrangement by which Bengal, with the 
districts in the east which had been 
separated from it, was created a single 
entity under the rule of a Governor, 
while Behar, Chota Nagpur, and Orissa 
was constituted a new province, presided 
over by a Lieutenant-Governor, Assam 


a very lugubrious mood. In comrilon with 
the rest of India, it has experienced the 
thrills of the Great War; in association 
with the rest of the Empire, it has taken 
a part, and a noble one, in the memor- 
able struggle for the world's freedom. 
But this, unfortunately, is not the only 
side of the picture that this great Pro- 

being left, as before, under a Chief Com- 
missioner. The visit of the King and 
Queen to Calcutta after the great Delhi 
function set the seal upon this compro- 
mise. Their Majesties were received with 
extraordinary enthusiasm, and any doubts 
that were entertained as to the wisdom 
of some portions of the plan — notably that 
which deposed Calcutta from its position 
as capital — were drowned in the chorus 
of loyal gratification at the auspicious 
circumstance which brought the Sovereign 
and his Consort to the banks of the 

Though from time to time episodes 
occur which indicate that the virus of 
anarchy implanted in the Bengal body 
politic by maleficent agitators is still 
working, the condition of the province as 
a whole is satisfactory. Absorbed in the 
work of building up a commercial and 
industrial fabric which is ever increasing 
in strength and magnificence, the great 
masses of the people are only anxious to 
live their lives in peace. The more in- 
fluential classes recognize the value of the 
protectioti of the Paramount Power, and 
are content to work out their destinies 
under its shadow ; the lower grades of 
the inhabitants, the cultivators and those 
engaged in the humbler walks of industry, 
are little prone to disorder, and with their 
modest needs ensured and safeguarded 
by a firm and just administration, may be 
trusted to rest contentedly under the Pax. 
Britaiinica. The Great War has happily 
passed so far without directly touching 
their lives or in any serious degree ad- 
versely affecting their interests. But it 
has not been without its influence in 
strengthening in Bengal, as in other parts 
of India, the sentiment of loyalty to the 
Crown, which in recent times has been 
so markedly and beneficially developed. 
Thus we may hope that in due time, when 
the stupendous World War has been 
followed by the Great Peace, Bengal will 
play a noble part in the work of economic 
regeneration which will be a leading, if 
not the chief, concern of our Imperial 

vince has exhibited in later days. Sedition 
has reared its ugly head in a fashion which 
has caused the gravest official anxiety. 
Fed from outside sources, the character 
of which it is not now difficult to deter- 
mine, an anarchical movement has alter- 
nately smouldered and burst into flame, 
producing unrest in wide areas in which 


the agents of disorder operated. There 
are many who think that the trouble has 
to a very considerable extent been created 
by past supineness in dealing with dis- 
order. But whether so or not, it is beyond 
question that the criminals have shown 
an audacity and contempt for the law 
witliout parallel in the modern history of 

Some of the worst phases of this orgy 
of organized crime were experienced in 
the tenure of office of Lord Carmichael, 
who was the first statesman to fill the 
office of Governor created under the new 
arrangements for the ruling of the Pro- 
vince. A man of high distinction in Home 
politics, Lord Carmichael took to his new 
position more than a common share of 
the exalted Liberal aspirations in regard 
to India which were prevalent at that time. 
His desire was to rule by kindness and 
persuasion rather than by force, and at 
the outset he was subjected to strong criti- 
cism because he did not more thoroughly 
apply the forces of the law to the work 
of extirpating the conspiracy. But the 
stern logic of events in the end compelled 
him to show that, as Gladstone said on 
a famous occasion when he was faced with 
Irish troubles, the resources of civiliza- 
tion were not exhausted. After a careful, 
investigation, conducted by his instruc- 
tions by Mr. John Gumming, had 
disclosed the existence of a widespread 
conspiracy against British rule, he put 
into execution the powers conferred by 
the Defence of the Realm Act, causing a 
number of suspected persons to be in- 
terned. His action was fiercely criticized 
by a section of the public who did not 
adequately realize either the extremely 
dangerous character of the movement or 
the perilous character of the times in 
which we live. In plain truth. Lord 
Carmichael did no more than was done 
in liberty-loving England without any 
serious protest. Constitutional govern- 
ment is a very precious thing, and not 
lightly to be thrust on one side, but there 
are times when it would be madness to 
allow a pedantic interpretation of the laws 
of government to restrain the administra- 
tion from suppressing organized crime, 
and this assuredly is one of them. 

Lord Carmichael, at all events, had no 
difficulty when, at the closing durbar of 
his administration he addressed the 
assembled notables of Bengal, in justi- 
fying the policy which he had followed. 
Step by step in his speech on that occa- 
sion he took his hearers through the 
developments of the subject, showing how 

he had come to the conclusion that there 
existed " a well-organized conspiracy, 
whose aim is to weaken the present form 
of government and, if possible, to over- 
throw it by means which are criminal "; 
how, faced by the insidious ramifications 
of the movement, the deliberate corruption 
of the young, side by side with the more 
overt acts of disorder such as organized 
gang robbery, the authorities had to adopt 
severe measures ; and how such measures 
of necessity took an exceptional form 
owing to the special characteristics of 
the conspiracy and the gravity of the 
times in which we live. He went on 
to claim that the Government measures 
had been amply justified by results. 
Not only, he declared, had crime been 
diminished by direct measures, but the 
administration of the Defence of the 
Realm Act had been a great indirect 
factor in the prevention of crime by the 
discoveries which it brought to light in 
the course of its operations. At the same 
time. Lord Carmichael did not disguise 
from himself the fact that executive action 
alone would never eradicate the evils of 
anarchy. A healthy public sentiment 
antagonistic to the criminals was, as he 
properly pointed out, by far the best safe- 
guard that the Province could have from 
the disorders which it had experienced 
in recent times. 

It was an admirable speech with which 
to round off a career which will be grate- 
fully remembered hereafter when the 
harvest of this first Bengal Governorship 
comes to be reaped. In what form events 
will shape themselves no one can say, 
but, as the retiring Governor in his vale- 
dictory remarks pointed out, the war has 
worked a wonderful transformation in 
all Imperial affairs — to use his exact 
words, " the war has taught us to realize 
more clearly than we ever did before that 
if the British Empire is to continue as 
the greatest Power in the world for good, 
every part of that Empire, India no less 
than any other, must be allowed, and, if 
need be, helped, to develop to the full 
all that its people feel themselves capable 
of doing for the mutual welfare of the 
whole." There will be changes, no doubt, 
but they will be on constitutional lines, and 
they will be helped or retarded according 
to the degree to which the anarchical con- 
spiracy is successfully grappled with. 

It is a curious fact, and a significant 
one, that in spite of unrest within and war 
without, Bengal in the past few years has 
been remarkably prosperous. Economic 
development has made wonderful strides 


in the Province of late, and has now 
reached dimensions which show, in a very 
impressive way, the vast future that lies 
ahead for India as a producer. This 
movement commenced long anlerior to the 
war, and on the outbreak of hostilities 
there were fears that a grave check would 
bo given to commercial and industrial 
activities. Kor a time a serious influence 
was exercised on the course of trade. But 
as the war proceeded and it was seen 
that few of India's material interests 
would be adversely affected, and that in 
certain directions she would actually 
profit by the war, the situation became 
stable. Some industries, notably jute, 
underwent enormous expansion owing to 
demands for war purposes, and there was 
for a time in Calcutta in 1916 a wild 
speculation in shares, the value of which 
in some instances increased by 600 per 
cent, on the pre-war figure. Coal and 
tea also, though not to the same extent, 
profited by the war, the heavy orders 
made on Government account stimulating 
business in spite of the severe handicaps 
imposed by the war conditions. The 
satisfactory character of trade generally 
is clearly revealed in the official statistics, 
which show that in 1916 a more valuable 
trade was done than in any preceding year 
save 191 2 and 19 1 3. As far as Bengal 
is concerned, imports during the year in- 
creased 13 per cent, and exports nearly 
14 per cent. To a considerable extent, 
no doubt, the increase represents the 
enhancement of values which the war has 
caused; but even allowing for that, it is 
a remarkable testimony to the strength 
of the Indian commercial position that 
these results should be possible after two 
years of war. It can hardly be expected, 
perhaps, that future returns will be so 
favourable. The shortage of tonnage, due 
to submarine warfare, and difficulties of 
finance arising out of the stoppage of the 
sale of Treasury Bills towards the end of 
1 91 6, have given a check to business, and 
this may continue. Such handicaps as 
those indicated, however, can have little 
influence on the steady march of economic 
development, which is, perhaps, the most 
striking feature of modern India. Indeed, 
it may confidently be anticipated that 
here, as in the United Kingdom, the 
invigorating effects of war activities— the 
making of munitions, the production of 
all kinds of war material and the im- 
provisation of transport machinery — will 
be felt long after the war has ceased, and 
that out of the welter of this terrible 
death-struggle may arise a new and 


improved system of industry which will 
be of enormous permanent value. 

By a happy conjuncture of events, the 
destinies of Bengal at this most interest- 
ing period are entrusted to a public man 
of considerable distinction in the person 
of Lord Konaldshay. This peer, who 
assumed office in the early part of 19 17, 
on Lord Carmichael's departure, has had 
a soniewhat arduous apprenticeship in 
Home affairs, and possessing as he does 
broad sympathies and the invaluable 
quality of tact, he can scarcely fail to 

make his administration a success. It will 
be his duty, in all human probability, to 
supervise the work, political as well as 
industrial, which will follow the war. No 
more difficult task, probably, has been 
imposed upon any modern administrator 
of Bengal, for the forces of disloyalty 
have still to be finally reckoned with. In 
Bengal, as elsewhere in India, however, 
there has been an increasing disposition to 
realize that in the gradual development 
of Indian institutions under the shadow 
of the Empire lies the best hopes of future 

peace and happiness, and this feeling may 
doubtless be relied on to smooth the path 
of the Government. Advancing on lines 
of peaceful progress, Bengal has a future 
more splendid than tliat of any other part 
of India. Nowhere else, probably, will 
be found such flourishing industries, such 
noble public institutions, or such a high 
state of intellectual development. Her 
old premiership of the Indian Presiden- 
cies will have received a new endorsement, 
and, in a deeper sense, Calcutta will be 
•the capital of India. 


From an old print. 




From '• Panorama of the City of Dacca. " Published about 1847. 


Bv L. S. S. O'MALLEY, I.C.S., Fellow of the Royal An'thropoi.ogical Institute 

HE peoples of Bengal 
and Assam, Behar 
and Orissa, number 
a little under 92 
millions, or three- 
tenths of the total 
population of India. 
They include many 
distinct races at widely different stages 
of civilization. Some are still primitive 
semi-savage tribes, ignorant of the use 
of the plough, whose weapons are the axe, 
the spear, and the bow and arrow. Others 
attained a high degree of civilization at 
a time when the Britons painted -them- 
selves with woad, and they have not 
lagged behind in modern times. Not to 
multiply instances, a living Bengali poet 
(Sir Rabindra Nath Tagore) has a Euro- 
pean reputation and the rare distinction 
of being a Nobel prizeman. To give more 
homely illustrations, bicycles and sewing- 
machines, gramophones and the cinemato- 
graph are popular, while Association foot- 
ball is a game that has thousands of 
devotees of no mean skill. In spite of 
all this diversity, some national charac- 
teristics can be distinguished. 

The Bengalis, in particular, have cer- 
tain peculiarities which mark them oflf 
from all other races of India. Living 
in a humid, relaxing climate, in a country 
of which a large part is a network of 
rivers and swamps, and subsisting mainly 
on a diet of fish and watery rice, they are 
a slenderly built, small-boned race. 
Although, however, they are not robust, 
they are capable of long and continuous 

rather than arduous labour, and are able 
to stand exposure better than hardier 
races not acclimatized to Bengal. The 
great mass are tillers of the soil, pas- 
sionately attached to their land and their 
homes. " The ryot's main property," 
says the Bengali litterateur Mr. R. C. 
Dutt, in " The Peasantry of Bengal," 
" the means of his livelihood, the ground 
of all his hopes, is the little bit of land he 
cultivates. His most dearly cherished 
hope points to nothing higher than a good 
harvest ; his greatest fear is lest his 
produce is decreased or his rent in- 
creased. Abuse him and the ryot will 
not complain, beat him and he will not 
bend, but increase the rent and he can 
bear no more." 

Largely on account of this home-loving 
spirit, and also because the natural 
fertility of the soil brings in abundant 
harvests, which put the cultivator beyond 
the fear of want, Bengal contains a dense, 
settled population with little mobility. A 
small area produces sufficient for the 
cultivator and his family, so that there 
is little emigration, and the Bengali is 
content to allow immigrants to furnish 
the bulk of the labour force of the modern 
factory industries and commercial under- 
takings in and around Calcutta. There 
is but little concentration in towns, and 
the people are spread over a multitude of 
villages, mostly consisting of scattered 
homesteads buried in thickets of bamboos, 
fruit-trees, and undergrowth, which secure 
the seclusion and privacy which the 
Bengali likes for his home. They have 


not, however, the homely wits of home- 
keeping youth, but possess alert and subtle 
intellects. The higher classes, who are 
known as bhadra-lok, in particular, are a 
clever, keen, and e.Kcitable people. Their 
natural bent is not so much to commerce 
and industries as to professional pursuits. 
Here the Bengali shines. " In the field 
of law his success has been fully admitted. 
In literature his high standard of excel- 
lence has long been known to students 
of Indian letters, and has begun to gain 
the acknowledgment of the Western world. 
In arts and science also he is winning his 
way to recognition." Education is almost 
a passion with them, and private enter- 
prise has spread English education 
broadcast; one in every seven of those 
able to read and write has a knowledge 
of English. It has well been said 
that the difference between the Bengali 
bhadra-lok and the middle classes of 
other Provinces of L'pper India is that 
the former are more enterprising, more 
intelligent, and far more ready to put 
their hands into their pockets to secure 
educational advantages. It has regret- 
fully to be admitted that one advanced 
section have found vent for a discontented 
and refractory spirit in an anarchical 
movement, professing to aim at self- 
government, the outcome of which has 
been a number of murders perpetrated 
with bombs and revolvers. 

A little over half of the Bengalis are 
Mahommedans, who, with a strength of 
24 millions, outnumber the whole Mahom- 
medan population of Turkey, Persia, and 


Afghanistan. The great majority of them 
are descendants of Bengali Hindu con- 
verts; the minority are of foreign stock, 
the descendants of immigrants from 
North-West India, e.g. noblemen and 
their entourage, or soldiers of the Moghul 
army. Thus, one will find Mahommedans 
whose robust body, high stature. Semitic 

climate than that of the humid delta of 
Bengal, are a more manly, robust, and 
vigorous people, whom the Bengalis them- 
selves are glad to employ in posts 
requiring physical strength, courage, or 
endurance. They furnished a large 
number of recruits to the Sepoy army in 
pre-Mutiny days, and during the Mutiny 


Vholj by li. C. (ih0:,'.tttl, JorlutI 

nose, and luxuriant beard contrast 
strongly with the features of their slim 
and meagre, flat-faced, and almost 
beardless co-religioni its. In Chittagong, 
where Arab traders and sailors resorted, 
the high cheek-bones, hook noses, and 
narrow faces of many Mahommedans pro- 
claim their Arab origin; while others, who 
are muscular, bull-necked, and thick- 
bearded, are equally clearly the 
descendants of foreign soldiers. 

The Beharis, living in a less enervating 

the forces that besieged the little .Arrali 
House mainly consisted of Behari levies. 
They are a nation of industrious and 
thrifty cultivators, but when social or 
religious ceremonies, sucli as marriages 
and funerals, occur, their thrift gives place 
to lavish expenditure; the savings of a 
lifetime disappear, and the peasant will 
incur a crushing load of debt. When the 
crops arc off the land they migrate to 
Bengal in hundreds of thousands anJ find 
employment on the roads and railways, 


in the fields and factories, of that rich and 
fertile Province, returning a few months 
later with their savings to resume the 
cultivation of their land. 

The Assamese are an amalgam of races, 
the fertile valley of the Brahmaputra 
having been overrun by successive waves 
of invaders from India on the one side and 
from China, Tibet, and Burma on the 
other, each of which has left its traces 
on the physique of the inhabitants. The 
aborigines of the country, the autoch- 
thones, so far as can be traced, are 
believed to be the Bodos, of whom several 
branches still survive. The most easterly 
are the Dimasas— a name meaning the 
great river people — who were driven out 
of the Brahmaputra Valley and became 
masters of the tract known as Cachar 
(Kachar). North-west of them, in a long, 
narrow belt of country to the north of 
the Brahmaputra, live a kindred tribe, 
called Kacharis after that district, who are 
described as a cheerful and smiling 
people, the most innocent and kindly of 
semi-savage races. To the west, in the 
Garo Hills and the plaiivs of Goalpara at 
their foot, are the Garos, once a savage 
race of head-hunters, of whom a descrip- 
tion will be found later; while to the 
south-west are the Tiparas, in the Hill 
Tippera State of Bengal. Under the 
name of the Chutiyas, the Bodos, or 
Kacharis, established a powerful kingdom 
in the east of Assam, from which they were 
ousted in the thirteenth century by the 
Ahoms, a Shan race from the upper por- 
tion of the Irrawaddy Valley, who held 
sway for many centuries and gave their 
name to the Province. In the valleys the 
conquerors fused with the aboriginal in- 
habitants, and the descendants of fierce 
and warlike invaders, softened by cen- 
turies of peace and settled life in a 
somewhat enervating climate, are a race 
of quiet and somewhat indolent culti- 
vators. While the main stock of the 
valley population is Indo-Chinese, 
Hinduism is the predominant religion, 
and the language is almost entirely 
Indian, Bengali being spoken by half the 
population of the Province, and .•\ssamese, 
which is very similar to Bengali, by nearly 
one-fourtli. In the hills, however, which 
formed a refuge against the hordes of 
invaders, there are still many aboriginal 
races, with long traditions of war and 
rapine, who have clung to their primitive 
customs and beliefs, have maintained their 
purity of race, and still adhere to the 
religion and speech of their forefathers. 
It is on this account that .\ssam has 



Photo bv Hhmthtvaii Art Hludio. 


rlioto /•>■ /). C. nhoiliiii, Jorlmt, 


Pkolo by H. Sain. 


photos by n. C, Gh.'-biil, Joiluit. 


Phfflv by H. sain, Photo by Vtindtrlon'tit, 


photo l>y n. C. Ghoiha/, Jorkat. 



been aptly described as " a museum of 
nationalities." In modern times the tea 
industry has introduced yet another 
foreign element in the heterogeneous 
population, the tea gardens importing a 

A striking contrast to the slim, slender, 
and somewhat listless Oriya is afforded 
by the Himalayan races to the north of 
Bengal. Here the Nepalese predominate, 
a squat, sturdy people with characteristic 


I'luiltJ by Glwibiii Bros., S/n/Zitii^, 

large labour force of Dravidian descent 
from the plateau of Chota Nagpur. 

The Oriyas are a quiet, law-abiding and 
conservative people, Orissa having till 
quite recently been so isolated that it was 
a kind of " sleepy hollow." They are 
intensely religious, and adhere to the 
old Hindu system, with its rigid restric- 
tions and rules of ceremonial purity. So 
strong is immemorial tradition that the 
lowest castes must build their houses on 
the outskirts of the village; their children 
till recently were not allowed inside the 
village schools, and even now must, in 
some places, sit apart from other Hindu 
boys; they may not draw water from the 
village tanks; the village barber will not 
shave them, and the village washerman 
will not wash their clothes. The Oriyas 
are devout V'aishnavas, whose greatest 
festival is the annual car festival of Jagan- 
nath. On this occasion the image of the 
god rides in procession on a car, 45 feet 
in height, with 16 wheels, through a huge 
concourse of people. The cases of self- 
immolation under the wheels of the car 
which used to take place, as well as acci- 
dental deaths, have given rise to a 
well-known expression in the English 
language, though the god Jagannath is 
often confused with the car. 

Mongolian features — a bullet head, a flat 
face, almond eyes, high cheek-bones, and 
almost hairless chins. Energetic and 
resourceful, they are ready to turn their 
hands to almost any task. They have a 
cheerful, merry temper, a zeal for work, 
and a wiry strength, which enables them 
to carry up the steepest hills loads weigh- 
ing as much as 80 lb. ; the loads rest on 
the back, and are suspended by a band 
passed over the head. They are not true 
Gurkhas, but immigrants or descendants 
of immigrants from the east of Nepal, and 
are divided into several tribes, each of 
which is bilingual, speaking the tribal lan- 
guage as well as Naipali Hindi, the lingua 
franca of the hills. Other immigrants are 
the Bhotias, stalwart mountaineers, burly 
rather than tall, whosf; original home was 
Ti:^^t, as, indeed, their name implies, Bhot 
being merely an Indian form of Tibet, 
which is a corruption of the Mongolian 
Thubot. The real aboriginals are the 
Lepchas of Sikkim, a peaceful, timid 
people of effeminate appearance ; it is 
often difificult to distinguish men from 
women (both wearing pigtails), except 
from their dress. They dwell in the 
valleys, and are true men of the woods. 
Forest fruits, fungi, and roots enter 
largely into their dietary: more than 100 


different kinds are eaten by them. They 
have separate names for practically every 
bird, orchid, and butterfly, and, with 
training, make excellent naturalists and 

Both the Bhotias and Lepchas are 
Buddhists, who revere the Dalai Lama 
of Tibet, not only as an arch-pontiff, but 
also as an incarnation of the deity. There 
is a hierarchy of priests called Lamas, 
who live in monasteries, and in their 
temples observe a ceremonial reminiscent 
of the Roman Catholic Church. Mitres 
and vestments are worn, incense is burnt, 
bells are rung, and the priests prostrate 
themselves before altars on which are 
images and burning lamps, .^.n ingenious 
method of prayer is followed by the 
people. Prayers are printed on strips 
of cotton, which are attached to bamboo 
poles and aptly named " horses of the 
wind," for as they flutter in the breeze 
the petitions are borne to the gods. 
Another device consists of enclosing rolls 
of printed prayers or pious passages in 
cylinders, great and small. Some of 
these, about the size of a round cigarette- 
tin, are carried in the hand, and revolve 
with a twist of the wrist. Others are 
huge barrels, which are turned by water- 
power like the wheels of a mill. With 
each turn the prayers are borne to the 
gods without any personal exertion of the 
worshipper. Demonolatry enters largely 
into their religion, but its terrors are 
relieved by the cheerful outlook on life 
that so many of the hillmen have. .■\ 
typical instance of this came recently to 
the writer's notice. A Lama had been 
engaged to drive out a devil that was 
thought to have taken possession of a 
house. In answer to an inquiry how long 
the operation would take, it was explained 
with a hearty laugh that the Lama would 
stay in the house till the devil was 
expelled, and that it would probably take 
a long time as the good woman of the 
house kept a good table. 

To the ethnologist the most interesting 
races are the Mongoloid tribes of Assam 
and the DravLdians, who are found in 
Chota Nagpur, the Santal Parganas, and 
the hilly hinterland lying between the 
coast districts of Orissa and the Central 
Provinces. They follow that primitive 
form of religion known as Animism that 
peoples the valleys, the hills, and the 
streams with spirits, chiefly malignant, 
which have to be propitiated with offer- 
ings and sacrifices. It is scarcely to be 
distinguished from demonolatry, and finds 
practical expression in a rooted belief in 


the powers of exorcism. Sickness, for 
instance, is not due to insanitary sur- 
roundings, but to the anger or malice of 
an evil spirit. Many have a faint belief 
in a Creator, but he is a roi faineant, and 
does not trouble himself with the petty 
affairs of men. Many of their customs 
and superstitions are weird, and some are 
repulsive. The Sauria Paharias of the 
Santal Parganas imagine that epidemics 
of disease are due to evil spirits, which 
come by train. The remedy is found in 
making a rude model of a train, which 
they wheel into the forest. Thus the 
demon of disease is expelled from the 
village. The Oraons of Chota Nagpur 
believe in a spirit called Murkuri, i.e. 
" the thumper," which is thought to exer- 
cise its power if a European slaps a man 
on the back. The result is fever or illness, 
to cure which the spirit has to be exor- 
cised. Among the Khasis of Assam there 
is an order of men called Thlens, who 
are said to have sprung from a gigantic 
and ravenous snake. It is believed that, 
like their ancestor, they have a craving 
for human blood. This ghastly super- 
stition leads to cold-blooded murders, the 
offerings to the Thlcn being some of the 
victim's blood, hair, and the tips of 
the fingers. Equally strange are the 
beliefs regarding the future state and 
the customs observed at death. Accord- 
ing to the Lushais of Assam, the soul is 
born again in the shape of a hornet, which 
is eventually transformed into water. If 
it falls as dew upon a man, the soul is 
born again in his son. One Naga tribe 
smoke their dead and place the body in 
a bamboo coffin, which is kept in the house 
for some weeks before it is taken to the 
village cemetery. A similar insanitary 
practice is followed when wealthy Lushais 
die. The corpse is placed in a hollow tree 
trunk, with a lid carefully plastered with 
mud. This strange coffin is kept beside 
a fire inside the house for three months, 
after which the bones are taken out and 
kept in a basket. One section of the 
Lushais smear a preservative grease over 
the corpse, dress it up, and pour rice- 
beer down the throat, while the people 
dance round it every evening, sometimes 
for months together. 

The most warlike and independent of 
the aboriginal tribes are found in the hills 
of Assam. From time immemorial they 
have indulged in rapine, and some of their 
names are grim reminders of their old 
marauding life. One of the Aka tribes, 
for instance, is called " the devourers of 
a thousand homes." Another bears the 

sobriquet of " the thieves who lurk in the 
cotton fields." Their ferocity has led to 
many a raid on the peaceful villages of 
the plains, the motive being sometimes 
the desire to carry off plunder, women, 
or slaves, and sometimes a murderous 
thirst for blood, their incursions beihg 
simply head-hunting expeditions. The 
necessity for maintaining the pax 
Britannica against these savage caterans 
has caused several punitive expeditions 
and small frontier campaigns, such as the 
Lushai Hills Expedition of 187 1-2, the 
Garo Hills Expedition of 1872, the Naga 
Hills Expedition of 1879-80, the Aka 
Expedition of 1883-4, the Chin-Lushai 
Expedition of 1889-90, the Lushai (Lal- 
bura) Expedition of 1892, and the .'Xbor 
Expedition of 191 1-12. To this list 
should be added the Manipur Expedition 
of 1891, which was due to the cold- 
blooded murder of the Chief Commis- 
sioner and other officers by a claimant 
of the chieftainship. The Manipuris, 

are not regarded ; there are often no goal- 
posts, and the rush of a Manipuri team 
sweeping down the field, careless of rules 
about crossing and fouling, has been 
likened to the shock tactics of a cavalry 

The Nagas are, perhaps, the most 
primitive of these Mongolian races, and 
the least affected by outside influences. 
Their villages are typical of a gladiatorial 
type of life, being built on the tops of 
hills and strongly fortified with a stockade 
and a moat filled with bamboo caltrops. 
Until brought under British rule they 
were bloodthirsty head-hunters. No head 
came amiss, whatever the age or sex, and 
whether taken in fair fight or by 
treachery. One Naga, who afterwards 
became an interpreter in a British Court 
of Justice, is said to have taken eighteen 
heads in his younger days. The same 
savage custom still obtains among the 
Nagas living beyond the frontier, who are 
also addicted to human sacrifices, which, 


I'lu^tj hv (ilw.^liiit tlio>., SInlhtt,!;. 

though of Mongolian descent, are not, 
however, wild primitive people like those 
above mentioned. They are best known 
for the zeal with which they play polo, 
which is, indeed, thought to have been 
introduced into Europe from this remote 
corner of India. The niceties of the game 


they believe, ensure good harvests. 
Scanty clothing is the fashion, and the 
men of one or two tribes are often stark 
naked except for a small bone ring, 
through which the foreskin is drawn. It 
has been said that the Naga is three-parts 
a savage, and that if you judge savagery 


by the superficial area of a man's naked- 
ness the fraction that is not savage would 
be small indeed ! They have, however, 
a real standard of decency, a code of 
morals which is by no means low, a 
regular social organization, and consider- 
able intelligence. They love ornaments, 
and their ear-rings are extraordinary, the 
lobe being pierced and distended to such 
an extent that it will hold bulky articles; 
even a shaving-soap cylinder will find a 
place in it ! 

man's social status being often gauged 
by the number he possesses. A man's 
corpse is laid out on rows of gongs before 
cremation, and old gongs fetch fancy 
prices out of all proportion to their real 
value, Rs. loo being sometimes paid, 
though the value of the metal may be 
only Rs. lo. When a man dies it is a 
common practice for a hole to be made 
in one of his gongs, which is then put on 
a stick close to his memorial-post. The 
top of the latter is carved into the likeness 

in length. In every village there is a 
bachelors' house, for young unmarried 
men may not live with their parents. The 
bachelors' houses are built on higher plat- 
forms than the ordinary houses, and the 
young men climb up by rude staircases 
made of notched logs of wood, often 
assisted by lengths of cane suspended 
from an overhanging beam. 

The Khasis, who live in the Khasi and 
Jaintia Hills, are a race totally distinct 
from the neighbouring hill tribes, and are 




I'hotci by Ghoshal Bros., Sl.ilhng. 


niolc '-v l>. I'- GlwiluU, JoriuU. 

The costume of the Garos is also as 
scanty as is compatible with decency, and 
they have an equal love of ornaments. 
The women wear masses of brass-wire 
ear-rings; fifty brass rings weighing i lb. 
to 2 lb. will sometimes be seen hanging 
from the lobe of each ear. The lobes 
often break under the weight, and the 
rings are then supported by a double 
string over the head. The system of 
matriarchy prevails among the Garos, 
descent being traced through the mother, 
while inheritance is restricted to the 
female line. A man may not inherit 
property, and can only possess what he 
has acquired by his own labour. Gongs 
arc a highly valued form of property, a 

of a human face intended to represent the 
deceased, and is dressed up in some of his 
clothes. Close to it is another post, on 
which are placed the horns of the buffalo 
which is sacrificed at the time of crema- 
tion. The Garos have, as a rule, two 
houses — one in the village and another 
in the fields. They live in the latter 
during the cultivating season, so as to be 
near their crops and protect them from 
wild animals. Sometimes the field houses 
are perched in the tops of trees, 20 or 
30 feet above the ground, so as to be 
safe from the attacks of wild animals, and 
access is obtained by means of a bamboo 
ladder. The houses in the villages are 
built on piles, and often exceed 100 feet 

certainly of different origin. Their speech 
is intimately connected with the languages 
of the Mon-Khmer group of Burma and 
the Malay Peninsula, while they are 
decidedly Malay in appearance. The 
Khasi language has also affinities with 
that of the Hos and Mundas of Chota 
Nagpur, and there is a further sign of 
connection between these widely separated 
tribes in the common practice of erecting 
memorial stones. These are megalithic 
monuments dedicated to the spirits of the 
dead. The groups of menhirs, or vertical 
monoliths, dolmens, or table stones, and 
cromlechs, or cairns, which are met v.ith 
throughout their country, are strangely 
reminiscent of those which are a familiar 


sight in Brittany. Ancestor-worship is 
a marked feature of their religion, and 
goes on side by side with the propitiation 



rlwij I'y (;/i.>>/i,i/ Br<ji., Shillntig. 

of other spirits. They obtain auguries 
by examining the entrails of animals and 
birds, like the Romans. Another form 
of divination, which was also practised 
by the Romans, is the breaking of eggs, 
the events of the future being discerned 
from the position of the fragments of the 
broken egg-shells. So firm is the belief 
in the efficacy of divination by eggs that 
a KhasL will undertake nothing of im- 
portance — e.g. building a house and 
taking a journey — until he has broken 
some eggs and found whether the venture 
\^•ill be lucky or not. The Khasis, like the 
Garos, observe tlie matriarchal system 
under which women inherit property. A 
national saying is, " From the woman 
sprang the clan." This institution has 
far-reaching effects on the social organi- 
zation. Even the property which a man 
acquires before marriage is held to belong 
to his mother. The husband can take no 
part in the rites and ceremonies of his 
wife's family. After death his ashes are 
deposited in the cromlech of his mother's 

kin, and can, with few exceptions, find 
no place in the wife's family tomb. Cere- 
monial religion is conducted by women, 
especially in the home, and male priests 
are merely their deputies. The ancestress 
of the tribe receives special veneration, 
and the spirits of sickness and death, who 
are most frecjuently worshipped, are 
female. In one Khasi State a woman is 
both spiritual and temporal head of the 
people ; her regal functions are, in prac- 
tice, delegated to a son or nephew, but 
her sacerdotal supremacy is not trans- 
ferred. The order of succession to this 
post of queen and arch-pontiff is typical 
of female primogeniture. She is succeeded 
by the eldest surviving daughter; failing 
daughters, by the eldest daughter of the 
eldest daughter; failing the latter, by the 
eldest daughter of her second daughter, 
and so on. If there are no daughters or 
granddaughters in the female line, she is 
succeeded by her eldest sister, and if she 

Abor, whose land was until recently 
almost a terra incognita, while their name, 
meaning " unknown savage," is signifi- 
cant. The men are pale and hairless; 
most have large goitres on their neck; 
and some are tattooed on the face with a 
sign resembling a cross. The natural 
ugliness of the woman is enhanced by blue 
lines tattooed on the face, which gives 
their features a curious twisted expres- 
sion; their wedding-ring consists of a 
spiral gaiter of thin twisted bark bound 
round the calf of the leg. They have a 
high opinion of their own strength and 
importance, but when, after their murder 
of a Political Officer and a doctor, a puni- 
tive expedition was sent aganist them, in 
191 I- I 2, they put up a poor fight. Their 
tactics consisted of sniping with poisoned 
arrows, discharging great boulders and 
tree trunks from booby-traps, and making 
a short stand behind stockades. The fines 
then levied on the villages show how rudi- 



I'iato by U. C 

has no sister, by the eldest daughter of 
her mother's eldest sister, and so on. 

Another tribe with whom the British 
have recently come into conflict is the 



(;/(iis;j.i/, J^rhat. 

mentary is their currency, being paid in 
arrows, the jungle knives called daos, and 
semi-domesticated bisons and pigs. 
The other great and distinctive group 


of alxiriginal tribes consists of the Juangs," wrote Colonel Dalton, "are 
Dravidian races, whose home is in Chota about the smallest that human beings ever 
Nagpur. the Santal Parganas, and the deliberately constructed as dwellings. 


I'licto bv Hi'ttnliivtu Art Stti.Uo, 

Orissa States. Of these the largest and 
most representative are the Santals, 
Mundas, Hos, Oraons, and Khonds, or 
Kandhs. Their main physical charac- 
teristics are a long head, a broad, bridge- 
less nose, a low, narrow forehead, thick, 
protruding lips, hair inclined to be woolly, 
a low stature, and long arms. Huxley 
surmised that they might be related to 
the aborigines of Australia, but the latest 
conclusion of ethnologists is that they are 
autochthonous, the earliest inhabitants of 
India of whom we have knowledge. It 
has, indeed, been suggested that the tiny 
huts in which some live, with low doors so 
small that the owner has to crawl in on all 
fours, arc an indication that originally 
they were troglodyte cave-dwellers. In 
the huts of the Oraons, which are only 
about 7 feet in height, a hole, 4J feet 
high, serves as an entrance; it is kept 
from falling in by a log above, which is 
aptly called the kaparphora, or " fore- 
head-breaker." " The huts of the 

They measure about 6 feet by 8 feet, and 
are very low, with doors so small as to 
preclude the idea of a corpulent house- 
holder. The paterfamilias and all his 
belongings of the female sex huddle to- 
gether in this one stall, not much larger 
than a dog-kcnnel. For the boys there 
is a separate dormitory." 

The village " dormitory " system also 
obtains among other tribes, and is the 
result of the houses being too small to 
contain large families. Among the 
Khonds, for instance, the youtlis of a vil- 
lage sleep in one dormitory, and the 
grown-up girls in another, under the 
cliarge of an old woman. The same 
custom is observed by the Oraons. 
Before admission to the bachelor hall the 
boys have to be branded on the arm, the 
scars being the mark by which, after 
death, they will be recognized as Oraons 
by other Oraon spirits. Once admitted, 
they form a close fraternity, bound down 
to secrecy about all that goes on inside. 


It is known, however, that there is a 
regular system of " fagging," the small 
boys serving the elder, and being 
punished for slackness. It is also known 
that the girls slip off at night to the 
bachelors' hall, sexual intercourse before 
marriage being common. 

One and all of these races have the 
greatest attachment to their land, com- 
bined with a dislike of foreigners, and 
esiH-cially of foreign landlords. The land, 
in their view, belongs solely to the 
descendants of the men who cleared and 
reclaimed it from the forest — a belief 
which clearly shows their role as pioneers 
in forest tracts. Not all have been able 
to retain their land, and a large propor- 
tion of these landless men have had to 
migrate and earn their bread by the sweat 
of the brow in distant countries. Nearly 
half a million are found in Bengal 
and a quarter of a million in Assam 
" Lal)our," writes Sir Herbert Risley, " is 
tlic birthright of the pure Dravidian, and 
as a coolie he is in great demand wherever 
one meets him. Whether hoeing tea in 
.\ssam, the Duars, and Ceylon, planting 
sugar-cane in far Fiji, cutting rice in the 
swamps of Eastern Bengal, or doing 
scavenger's work in the streets of Cal- 
cutta, Rangoon, and Singapore, he is 
recognizable at a glance by his black skin, 
his squat figure, and the negro-like 
proiJortions of his nose." 

This love of the land plays a great 
part in their history, and has led to more 
than one rising. The loss of the fields 
wliich the Santals of the Santal Parganas 
had cleared, but from which they were 
ousted by Hindu landlords and money- 
lenders, led to the Santal War of 1855. 
The Santals rose with the idea of aveng- 
ing themselves on the land-jol)bers and 
usurers who oppressed them, and, to their 
surprise, found themselves at war with the 
British, with whom, as they said, they 
had no quarrel. When a Hindu money- 
lender was captured, they treated him 
with a grim and ghastly humour. First 
they cut off his feet, saying, " That is 
four annas in the rupee " ; next they 
lopped off his legs, shouting, " Eight 
annas have been paid " ; and then they 
cut through his body at the waist to make 
up another four annas. Finally he was 
beheaded, to the accompaniment of yells 
that his bill was paid in full. To the 
English they often acted in a spirit of 
chivalry. Notice, for instance, was sent 
to some indigo-planters that, as they cul- 
tivated the land like the Santals them- 
selves, they would not be molested if they 


stayed at home and gave the Santals 
supplies. On another occasion they sent 
a message to a town they intended to 
attack, viz. a branch bearing three leaves, 
to show that they would attack in three 
days and that the inhabitants had three 
days' warning. It is also significant that, 
though it is their custom to use poisoned 
arrows in the chase, they never used them 
against the troops. 

More recently, in 1899, there was an 
cnieute among the Mundas of Chota 
Nagpur, who rose under a semi-religious 
leader called Birsa, who proclaimed, 
among other things, their ancient rights 
over the land and forests. \\\ land was 
to be rent-free, all foreigners were to 
be slain or driven out, and the people 
would have their Utopia. A similar spirit 
has led to a more salutary movement 
among the Khonds, who some years ago 
took a vow to become teetotallers. 
Drunkenness, they said, led to wife- 
beating, poverty, and — worst of all— the 

have had a twofold basis. The object 
was partly to expel from the Oraon 
country the evil spirits who were believed 
to be responsible for bad crops and high 
prices, and partly to raise the social 
position of the Oraons to the higher level 
occupied by Christian and Hindu con- 
verts of the race. The former object was 
to be attained by the recitation of certain 
powerful spells {mantras), the latter by 
the abandonment of degrading practices 
such as the keeping and eating of pigs 
and fowls and the use of intoxicants. The 
excitement was aggravated by the general 
attnosphere of unrest caused by the war, 
and an invocation of the German Kaiser 
crept into the mantras. The drafting of 
extra police into the chief centres of 
unrest had a reassuring effect, and with 
the harvesting of the winter crops, which 
were unusually good, the movement began 
to subside. It did not, however, die out 
altogether, for the people thought that 
the expulsion of evil spirits from one 

part, and several brutal murders of 
supposed witches occurred. 

The belief in the mischief done by 
witches and in the power of wizards, who, 
like the African medicine-men, can 
" smell out " witches, is common to all 
these tribes. A similar campaign took 
place in 1857, when the Hos of Singh- 
bhum took the opportunity of the tcin- 
porary breakdown of law and authority 
during the Mutiny io make a clean sweep 
of all women suspected of witchcraft. 
Even now among the Santals not a year 
passes without some woman being killed, 
frequently by being beaten to death, for 
the mysterious mischief she is believed 
to have done. A simple and efficacious 
way of stopping this practice was em- 
ployed by a magistrate many years ago. 
When he heard that a woman liad been 
denounced as a witch, he called the vil- 
lagers together and produced a galvanic 
battery. The woman was told to hold 
the handles and the current was discon- 



PUotoi by Viinltrlojftri. 


loss of their lands. A still stranger village resulted in their transfer to others. nected. Then her accuser did the same 

movement sprang up in 1915-16 among The inovement accordingly continued with and the current was turned on. He got 

the Oraons of Chota Nagpur, and spread a campaign of witch-hunting, in which the a galvanic shock, and was unable to 

to their brethren in the Duars of Bengal. whole populace, and not merely the release his hands till he acknowledged 

The original inspiring idea appears to sok/ias, or special witch-hunters, took that he had made a mistake. 



The Khonds believe that witches have 
power to take the shape of tigers, 
leopards, and wolves, and put down to 
them the deaths of cattle and human 
beings from wild animals. Old women 
and men are often declared to be evil 
spirits in human form or mctamorplioscd 
tigers. If a death occurs and some one 
is definitely suspected of causing it, a fowl 
is taken and its legs are plunged into 
boiling water and rapidly withdrawn. If 
the skin peels off the suspected person is 
held to be guilty, and he is turned out 
of the village unless he undertakes to 
undergo the ordeal by fire. For this pur- 
pose a long, narrow trench is dug and 
filled with burning embers. The legs of 
the accused are smeared with ghi 
(clarified butter), and he is made to walk 
twice through the trench. If he is burned 
it is a proof of his guilt. If no one in 
particular is suspected, the ordeal by iron 
is resorted to. A bar of iron is put into 
the blacksmith's furnace, the witch-finder 
working the bellows. The names of the 
villagers arc called out one after another, 
and the person at whose name the iron 
melts is held to be guilty. 

The Khonds are particularly afraid of 
the spirits of pregnant women. Their 
bodies are buried far away from the 
village across a stream, the idea being 
that no spirit can cross water ; as a further 
precaution, pieces of iron are driven into 
the leg and a perforated iron spoon is 
placed inside the breast. The same belief 
that women who die in pregnancy 
become evil spirits is common to other 
tribes, and has caused the ghastly prac- 
tice of the womb being ripped open and 
the foetus extracted. The husband him- 
self is charged with this sickening task. 
The Bhuiyas of the Orissa States, who 
usually burn their dead, bury the embryo 
and the woman's iKidy on opposite sides 
of a stream, because they think that the 
mother will be unable to become an evil 
spirit without union with her child, and 
that the water will be an impassable 
barrier. Again, when a pregnant Oraon 
woman dies her ankles are broken and 
her feet wrenched backwards to prevent 
her spirit walking; and, to make doubly 
sure, a heavy stone and a bundle of thorns 
are placed over the grave to prevent her 
spirit getting out. 

Another belief is that souls return to 
animate human forms in families in which 
they were first born. The Gonds think 
that the soul of a man comes back to the 
house on the fifth day after death. HLs 
relations go to the side of a river or 

stream and call him by name, after which 
they catch a fish or an insect and take it 
home. There they either place it in a 
room reserved for the spirits of dead 
ancestors or eat it in the belief that the 
dead man will again be born in the 

The Hos have a similar idea that the 
spirits of the dead return to the house, 
and seven days after death the spirit is 
solemnly recalled. Ashes are spread on 
the floor of the house, a woman sitting at 
each corner, while the family and their 
guests sit outside. Two go out and call to 
the hongas, or evil spirits, praying that 
if any have taken the deceased they will 
allow him to come back. The house is 
kept dark, and suddenly the women cry 
out, " The spirit has come I " They then 
light a lamp and look for the marks the 
spirit has left on the ashes. Some spirits 
leave the footprints of birds, some of 
snakes or cats, others of dogs. These 
footmarks show whether the spirit is 
happy or not. The greatest happiness 
is indicated by the footprints of birds, 
then of cats, and then of dogs, but the 
mark of a snake shows that the spirit is 
in great misery. .\fter this, the spirit 
is supposed to remain in an invisible 
form in the house, and a space is set 
aside for him in the inner room, which 
no one but members of the family may 

The Khonds are convinced that the 
souls of deceased persons return to 
animate human bodies, but such persons 
must have been married, or at least have 
had sexual intercourse, during their life- 
time. The souls of unmarried persons 
cannot enter the circle of family spirits, 
but are malevolent spirits, causing fever, 
ague, apoplexy, and other ailments. The 
spirits of married people animate the 
foetus as soon as it is fully formed. This 
belief was formerly the cause of female 
infanticide, which was so common that in 
many villages there was not a single 
female child. Girls were killed imme- 
diately after birth by exposure in the 
jungle ravines, because the Khonds, who 
ardently desire male offspring, thought 
that this was an effectual way of reducing 
the number of females which would be 

The Khonds also used to practise 
human sacrifice. The victims, who were 
called Meriahs, were purchased, as an 
ancient ordinance lay down that they must 
be bought with a price. The purveyors 
were a servile race called Pans, who in 
their turn bought up children or kid- 


napped them. The sacrifice was made to 
propitiate the earth-goddess and ensure 
good crops, the flesh of the victims being 
buried in the fields. In whatever way 
the rite was performed, it was invariably 
accompanied by the most revolting 
cruelty. One method was to tie the 
victim — who had previously been stuiiefied 
— by his hair to a stout wooden post on 
the ground. His arms and legs were then 
seized by four men and the body was held 
out horizontally from the post, face down- 
wards. The priest took the sacrificial 
knife and, amid the yells of the victim, 
commenced hacking him on the back of 
the neck, shouting in his ear, " We bought 
you with a price ; no sin rests on us." 
Once the blood flowed the Khonds rushed 
in, intoxicated and wildly excited, every 
man's object being to cut a morsel from 
the living victim to bury in his fields. 
At times, when the gathering was large 
and it was feared that the blood and flesh 
of the victim would not go round, a dis- 
appointed Khond would, it is said, as the 
next best thing, slice off a piece from 
another Khond who was hacking at the 

Another method was to dig a shallow 
pit long enough to contain the victim. 
Into this was poured the blood of a freshly 
slaughtered hog. The victim, bound hand 
and foot, was suffocated by having his 
face pressed down in the blood. Still 
another method was to drag the living 
victim over the fields, followed by drunken 
and excited Khonds, who cut pieces from 
him, taking care to avoid the head and 
bowels in order not to kill him outright. 

This hideous practice has long since 
been given up, and the sacrifice of 
buffaloes, which has been substituted for 
it, is found to produce just as good har- 
vests as the immolation of human beings. 
In the rites many of the old Meriah 
customs are preserved. The buffalo is 
smeared with oil and garlanded, and the 
people dance before it to the deafening 
noise of drums and cymbals. The Meriah 
songs are chanted in its ears, and the 
invocations are the same as those which 
used to be made at the human sacrifice. 
Everybody tries to induce the animal to 
eat a portion of the offering he has 
brought, and after touching its anointed 
body they smear the oil on their fore- 
heads. The victim is driven round the 
boundaries of the village, or the pole to 
which it has been bound is carried round 
it, accompanied by a band of Pan 
musicians. It is then led to the sacred 
grove, on the outskirts of the village. 


^vhere a pit has been previously dug and 
filled with the blood of a pig. The priest 
cuts off a small piece of the flesh from 
the back of the head and buries it at the 
shrine of the goddess. The poor animal 
is immediately borne to the ground, and 

is partially flayed alive for the purjxjse 
of collecting its blood, while the 
assembled people hack off lumps of its 
flesh, which they carry away in great haste 
and bury with much ceremony at the 
shrine of the goddess and on the boun- 

daries of their villages. The remains of 
the victim, with the unmutilated head, are 
buried in the bloody pit. A great feast 
and a bout of heavy drinking, in which 
both men and women join, close the 


I-hi'lo by IK C. Uhaktit, Joihid. 


I'htiia I'v Oho^ha! Hios. 




I'liclo hy Johnston & HoJJm 



By HUMPHREY G. CARTER, M.B., Ch.B., Officiating Director, Botanical Survey of India 

LANTS usually live in 
communities of suffi- 
cient bulk and extent 
to determine the 
landscape of vast 
tracts of country. 
For this reason the 
botany of a district 
may be looked upon from points of view 
from which its zoology cannot be studied. 
A fauna of a country is a list of the 
animals in it and a flora a list of its plants. 
But the vegetation of a district is some- 
thing quite distinct from its flora; each, 
moreover, is determined by separate 
climatic factors. 

As we shall here deal chiefly with vege- 
tation, let us at once make clear the dif- 
ference between it and flora. 

Now the woodland, let us .say, of Upper 
Assam belongs essentially to the same 
type of vegetation as an English oak- 
wood, but the flora of the two is entirely 
different. The two woodlands among 
their conspicuous plants have no two 
species in common. 

Further the flora of each of these wood- 
lands is made up of trees, shrubs, and 
herbs. It would be conceivable that either 
of these floras, by reducing the number of 
trees and shrubs and multiplying the herbs 
and grasses, might make up a totally dif- 
ferent type of vegetation, namely, grass- 

In general, the factor determining the 
vegetation of a district is rainfall ; that 
determining its flora is temperature. 
Assam and England have the same type 
of vegetation, chiefly because they both 
have wet climates. Their floras differ 
chiefly because the climate of Assam is 
hot while that of England is cold. 

The three chief types of vegetation are: 
(i) Woodland, often called forest, domi- 
nated by trees; (2) Grassland, made up 
chiefly of grasses and sedges; and (3) 
Desert, containing only scattered and 
stunted shrubs and herbs. Woodland 
occurs where inuch rain falls; grassland 
occurs where the rainfall is insufficient 
for woodland but is evenly distributed 
throughout the year; desert occurs where 


rain is deficient for the needs of either 
woodland or grassland. 

Woodland of one type or another is 
probably the characteristic vegetation of 
our area. In India, chiefly owing to the 
wet monsoon, alternating with a long, dry 
season, typical grassland does not occur,' 
but all transitions are seen from the most 
luxuriantly developed woodland to desert. 
The reason that woodland needs heavy 
rainfall is that trees with their heavy 
crowns of leaves evaporate much water, 
and this loss must be made good. The 
roots of trees penetrate so deeply into the 
ground that they are not, like grasses, 
dependent on constant rain. Furthermore, 
the heavier the rainfall the more luxurious 
the woodland. This is well seen where we 
leave the plains to go up the hills. 

As one ascends, the temperature falls. 
But at the foot of the hills the first slight 
fall of temperature, while still insufficient 

' There are large tracts of swamp within our area, 
and these tracts support a vegetation wliich often 
loisists largely of grasses. These swamp associa- 
tions are \'ei-y unstahle, and are not to he connected 
with the "grass land " of, let us say. South America. 



Phcli^ by D. X. Carter. 



to affect the flora, brings about a great 
increase of rainfall. This determines 
woodland, or larger and better woodland. 

rainfall, owing to the low air pressure, 
has begun to decrease, and a correspond- 
ing decline is seen in the luxuriance of the 


PUch hy Ikiilutl tlroi. 

Let us take for e.\ample the journey be- 
tween Siliguri and IJarjecling. In this 
region the plains are much cultivated, but 
doubtless their primitive vegetation would 
be a poor type of woodland. 

A slight rise brings us into a region of 
increased rainfall, hence of better wood- 
land. It is here (about i,ooo feet) that 
the sal (Shorea robusta) becomes gre- 
garious and covers large areas. Higher 
up still the woodland becomes much better 
developed and shows a magnificent con- 
fusion of huge trees, tangled creepers, and 
shrubs and herbs, which not only bedeck 
the ground but often cover the branches 
of the trees. At this altitude (2,000 to 
3,000 feet) the flora is practically that of 
the plains .serried and massed together to 
form a diff^erent kind of vegetation. 

At Darjeeling (about 7,000 feet) the 

forest. The temperature is much lower 
and is beginning to affect the flora. 
Whereas the flora of the plains and of the 
forests at the base of the hills is tropical, 
at the altitude of Darjeeling the temperate 
element becomes evident in the flora. 

Many British genera are at once recog- 
nized: Quercus (oak), Aliins (alder), 
Poteniilla acer (iriaple), Epilobium 
(willow herb), Heracleum (hog-wced), 
Viburnum ajuga (bugle), Scutellaria 
(skull-cap), occur to one at once as British 
genera easily re^^ognized by non-botanical 
Britishers in Darjeeling. 

Much the same changes are seen in 
going up the Khasya Hills. At .Sliillong 
(5,000 feet) most of the above genera are 
present, and in addition to them the 
woodland is dominated by a pine [Pinus 
Khasya, Royle). In the Darjeeling part 


of the Himalayas, conifers begin at about 
9,000 feet, which carries us over the 
political boundary of Bengal. The 
conifer which is so conspicuous at Dar- 
jeeling is a Japanese tree, Cryptomeria 
japonica, which has been planted there. 

In the hilly district of Chutia Nagpur 
(he rainfall is much less than it is in the 
lower Himalayas and Assamese hills, and 
the forest is of a much less luxuriant type. 
At the base of all these hills there is 
often a swampy zone covered by tall 
grasses, tamarix, and scattered trees, a 
kind of vegetation similar to that whicli 
often flanks our rivers and also occurs in 
the Sunderbans. 

In general the landscape of the plains 
is the result of agriculture and not of 
natural vegetation. Woodland, especially 
in Assam, covers large areas and in 
Assam, too, wide expanses of sandy soil 
by the Brahmaputra are clad with a kind 
of savannah of tall grasses and scattered 
trees alternating with large tracts of 
Tamarix. But a great part of the plains 
has been cultivated for many centuries, 
and even many of the trees which diversify 
their landscape are introduced plants. 
Four palms are everywhere in evidence. 
The coco-nut palm {Cocos nucijera) is 
found chiefly near the sea; it has a smooth 
stem which seldom stands quite straight 
and a crown of feather-leaves. Phanix 
sylvestris has straight stems which are clad 
in an armour plating of leaf bases so that 
the actual surface of the stem is not seen. 
It, too, has feather-leaves. The Palmyra 
palm ( Borassus flabellifer) has a straight, 
smooth stem surmounted by a handsome 
crown of fan leaves. Areca catechu which 
yields the betel-nut which Indians love to 
chew may be known by its very slender 
stems, which Sir Joseph Hooker compared 
to " arrows shot down from heaven." It 
is often planted in groups near houses. 

Other common trees seen, esi)ccially 
about villages, are Artocarpus iiitegrijoliiis 
(the jack fruit), Nephelium litchi (the 
litchi), Mangifera indica (the mango), 
Terminatia catappa (the country almond), 
Bomhax malabaricum, and many species of 
I'icus, of which perhaps the best known 
are Ficus benalensis (the banyan) an;l 
t'icus religiosa (the pipal). 

The banana ( Musa sapientum) is always 
seen near habitations, and clumps of 
bamljoos are ubiquitous. 

The " jheels " or swamp-lakes of the 
plains show natural vegetation. Plants 
which live partially or entirely in water 
have many peculiarities. Structural 
changes are present, some of which are 


connected with the fact that the roots live 
in mud, which is deficient in oxygen. Such 
plants have in their stems hollow channels 
which, connecting with similar channels in 
their roots, form a regular system of air 
canals. Some plants have some of their 
leaves submerged, and these leaves arc 
very different from those which are born 
in the air. The submerged leaves are 
often finely divided as in Cardanthera. 
Other plants, as the water-lilies, have 
floating leaves. Others, again, are floating 
plants, whose roots instead of being fast 
in the mud are free in the water. Such 
plants are Pistia stratoides, an aroid com- 
mon on all jheels,andf /c/;//o/'/2/a crassipcs 
(water hyacinth), an American plant which 
is spreading rapidly over watery tracts in 
India and Burma. 

Allied to the "jheel " vegetation are the 
communities of Typha, Phragmites, etc., 
which often cover wet, low-lying ground 
on the plains. 

Throughout the plains, and especially 
in Bengal, one is struck by the vast host of 
alien plants to be seen. They bulk so 
large in the flora that one wonders what 
the land looked like before they came. 
Briihl in 1908 wrote an account of two 
hundred and thirty-four " recent plant im- 
migrants," and others have got a footing 
since then. 

Our area abuts on the sea and we must 
say something about its sea-shore vege- 
tation. The sea, chiefly owing to the salt 
it contains, has a profound effect on 
plants. Sandy foreshores are almost 
devoid of vegetation. What plant can 
root itself in sand firmly enough to enable 
it to stand the scour of the tide and the 
thrashing of the waves on the Puri beach ? 
Above high-water mark, however, plants 
get a hold. 

The commonest seashore plant in our 
area, and perhaps in all tropical regions, 
is Ipomcea bilol}a, Forsk, called by Lin- 
nicus Convolvulus pes-Caprce, from a 
fancied likeness of its leaves to goats' 
cloven hoofs. Its stems form great 
tangled masses which bind the sand so 
admirably that persons whose houses arc 
near the beach welcome it in their gardens. 
All who have ever seen a tropical sea-beach 
nuist know its purple trumpet flowers. 
In our area Hydro phylax maritima and 
Cyperus arenarius also are very common. 
.All these plants have extensively growing 
stems which can carry the growing point 
quickly through shifting masses of sand to 
bring it up to the light. The stems of 
Ipomcea and Hydrophylax spread in all 
directions, those of Cyperus arenarius 

travel in straight lines so that the sedge 
tufts of this plant are seen ranged on the 
beach in long rows as if they had been 
planted out with a tape. 

These plants play an important role in 
the formation of " dunes." The drifting 
sand becomes heaped up on the side of 
the plant and threatens to bury it; the 
plant grows to keep pace with the encum- 
brance. More sand becomes heaped up, 
the plant grows more, and the larger the 
sand heap the more sand is it able to. stop. 
.\ large sand hill or dune is eventually 
formed in which the stems and roots of 
the dune plant ramify in all directions. 
On the more sheltered parts of this dune 
other plants are able to get footing. 
These plants living and dying bind the 

Before leaving the I'uri dunes mention 
must be made of Spinifex squarrosus, L., 
a curious grass very common there. Its 
fruits are arranged on stiff rays which 
make up balls about the size of a child's 
head. When the fruit is ripe the head 
falls off, and bounding and dancing about 
on its rays ensures dispersal for its seeds. 
All visitors to I'uri must have seen these 
independent, toy-like objects racing along 
the beach. 

Salt water makes its effects felt in 
situations more sheltered than dunes and 
beaches. Sluggish tropical estuaries are 
inhabited by a kind of vegetation totally 
distinct from anything else in the world. 
This " mangrove vegetation," as it is 
called, occurs in the tropics where " salt 


sand and make humus on which grasses 
and other herbs can grow. In this way, 
out of sandy waste good pastures are 
eventually formed. These processes can 
be seen going on at Puri. 


marsh " would occur in temperate regions. 
In our area it is extensively developed 
about the delta of the Ganges in the low, 
swampy region called the Sundribuns. 
Mangrove-trees, though they belong to 


various families, resemble one another 
closely. The seeds of these plants ger- 
minate while the fruit is still attached to 
the tree and continue to grow until the 
young roots hang down, sometimes attain- 
ing more than a foot in length. The 
young roots are thickened towards the end 
so that when the fruit drops the root sticks 
fast in the mud. It is by this curious con- 
trivance that the seedlings are able to get 
a hold in the tidal wash. 

Mangrove-trees belonging to the family 
Rhizophoracea develop early in their life 
history a remarkable scaffolding of roots 
which grow out from their main stem 
obliquely down into the mud, branching 
as they go. Eventually the base of the 
main stem dies away and the tree appears 

to be growing on a frame of basket- 

In Sonneratia (Sonneratiacex), Bru- 
guiera (Rhizophoracea:), and Avicennia 
(V'erbenacea?), peculiar roots of another 
kind are present. These rise vertically 
out of the mud ; it is their function to 
carry oxygen to the normally situated 
roots embedded as they are in unaerated 

Heriticra minor, Koxb. (Sterculiacca:) 
is one of the most abundant mangrove- 
trees in our area, and it is from the ver- 
nacular name of this tree (Sundri) that 
the Sundribuns derive their name. 

Those interested in the vegetation of 
the district and desirous of making a 
thorough investigation of the subject, 

will find more detailed information in 
the following books: — 

Briihl, P., " Recent Plant Immigrants " 
(Journ. As. Soc. Beng., ])p. 603-656, 
December 1908); Gamie, G. A., Re]>ort 
on a Botanical Tour in the Lakhinipur 
District, Assam (Records, Bot. Surv. Ind., 
1895, vol. i.. No. 5, pp. 61-88); Haines, 
H. H., "A Forest Flora of Chota Nagpur, 
including Gangpur and the Santal-Par- 
ganah'"; I^rain, D., "Bengal Plants" 
(unfortunately out of print); "Flora of 
the Sundribuns " (Records, Bot. Surv. 
Ind., vol. ii.. No. 4, 1903); " fhe Vege- 
tation of the Districts of Hughly-Howrali 
and the Twenty-four Pergunnahs " 
(Records, Bot. Surv. Ind., vol. iii., No. 2, 


/'/; j/i)j by It. \. Ctrl, r. 


I'licio hv y. II'. i^nnrlfv 



Phoio by yohnsloH if- Hqff'matm Calcutta. 


ALCUTTA is one of 
those cities whose 
histories are synony- 
mous with the making 
of empires ; their 
birth has in many in- 
stances been ushered 
in to the accompani- 
ment of turmoil and conflict between 
opposing military forces ; attempts to 
develop them socially, industrially; and 
politically have been frustrated again 
and again by the jealousy and subsequent 
invasions of foreign foes; and it has only 
been after continuous struggles on the 
part of the founders of these places that 
solid commercial foundations were even- 
tually obtained, upon which imposing 
superstructures have subsequently been 
raised. Such cities, however, are monu- 
ments to-day of the indomitable energy 
of those who had sufficient confidence in 
their own ideas to resist all opposition 
to their schemes, and they are now found 
in nearly every country of the world, 
standing as e.xamples of the steady pro- 
gress made in private and public life. 
" Mushroom " cities which have sprung up 
in a night are not of the above-mentioned 
class, and these notes are concerned only 
with Calcutta, one of many Eastern cities 
which have centuries of history behind 

Calcutta, in common with many other 

Eastern cities, has its legend, which, 
according to the late Dr. C. R. Wilson., 
in " The Early Annals of the English in 
Bengal," is as follows : " Long, long ago, 
in the age of truth, Daksha, one of the 
Hindu Patriarchs, made a sacrifice to 
obtain a son, but he omitted to invite the 
god Siva to attend. Now, Sati, the 
daughter of Daksha, was married to Siva. 
and she was indignant that so great an 
insult should have been offered to her 
divine husband, and deeply grieved that 
such a slight should have passed upon 
him through her kindred. In vain did she 
expostulate with her father. ' Why,' she 
asked, ' is my husband not invited ? Why 
are no offerings to be made to him?' 
' Thy husband,' was the reply,, ' wears a 
necklace of skulls; how can-he be invited 
to a sacrifice ? ' Then in grief and indig- 
nation she shrieked out, ' This father of 
mine is a villain; what profit have I in 
this carcass sprung from him? ' She puts 
an end to her life ; and Siva, ' drunk with 
loss,' transfixed her dead body on the 
point of his trident and rushed hither and 
thither through the realms of Nature. The 
whole world was threatened with destruc- 
tion, but Vishnu, the Preserver, came to 
the rescue. He flung his disk at the body 
of Sati and broke it into pieces, when it 
fell scattered over the earth. Every place 
where any of the ornaments of Sati fell 
became a sanctuary, a sacred spot full of 


the divine spirit of Sati. The names of 
these sacred places are preserved in the 
garlands of sanctuaries. Some of them 
are well-known places of pilgrimage, 
others are obscure and forgotten ; but 
to-day the most celebrated of them is in 
Calcutta (or Kalighat), the spot which 
received the toes of the right foot of Sati, 
that is Kali." 

It will be unnecessary here to refer at 
length to historical events connected with 
the rise of Calcutta, as they are fully 
dealt with on another page ; but some 
particulars may be given as to the estab- 
lishment of commercial relationships 
between the native population and visiting 

Direct trading between England and 
Bengal appears to liave been firmly estab- 
lished in or about the year 1645, ^"J '''c 
English flag was first hoisted in 1690, by 
one Job Charnock, on the spot where the 
Royal Mint now stands at Nimtollah, at 
the northern end of the Strand Road, and 
practically on the eastern bank of the 
River Hooghly. 

The site of Calcutta was selected after 
several attempts had been made to estab- 
lish a port and city in other places on or 
near the Hooghly, and the decision was 
arrived at because the spot chosen was 
the highest point at which the river 
was navigable for sea-going vessels. 
There is an ancient fallacy that the site 

^ I HilhWiiiMMiAffl %\^iJ%m mmmhb^m 





was chosen by chance on account of a 
midday halt by Charnock, but nothing 
could be farther from the truth than this. 
Kipling, in his "Departmental Ditties," 
makes an ignominious splash in this sea 
of error when he says : — 

"Tims tile mill-day heat of Charnock, more's the 

Grew a city ; 
As the fungus sprouts chaotic from its bed. 

So it spread ; 
Chance-directed, chance-erected, hiid and built, 

On the silt. 
Palace, bvre. hovel — poverty and jiride, 

Side by side ; 
And above the packed and pestilential town. 

Death looked down." 

Calcutta, the second city in the British 
Empire as regards population, extends for 
several miles on the east bank of the River 
Hooghly — an arm of the mighty Ganges— 
and the approaches, either by river or 
railway, present a striking variety of 
pleasing effects. The eighty miles 
journey by passenger steamer from the 
Sunderbunds — the delta of the Ganges, 
Brahmaputra, and Hooghly — will enable 
the visitor to appreciate to some extent 
the great difficulties, owing to the large 
number of shoals, which confront the 
skippers of sea-going vessels. These 
treacherous banks have been the cause 
of destruction of a large number of ships, 
and this river has been frequently 
described by mariners as the most difficult 
in the world for navigators. 

When nearing Calcutta by steamer, 
attention will be drawn to the beautiful 
Botanical Gardens on the west bank of 
the river, while on the opposite side is 
Garden Reach, now occupied by tidal 
docks and the extensive wharf accommo- 
dation for which the port is famous, the 
arsenal, the Maidan, with its beautiful 
drives, and the Eden Gardens, with their 
tropical plants and trees. Still sailing 
in a northerly direction, one notices the 
magnificent pile of Government House 
buildings, erected in 1802 ; while on 
either side of the river are ghats, docks, 
shipbuilding yards, foundries, mills of all 
kinds, timber yards, goods sheds, landing 
stations for large steamers, warehouses, 
and other buildings, which are continued 
past the Howrah pontoon bridge for a 
distance of about two miles. 

The entrance to the city, too, by the 
railway systems or roads, affords a view 
of extensive warehouses, factories with 
chimney-stacks emitting volumes of 
smoke, and yards in which passenger 
and cargo steamers, launches, and other 
craft are being constructed ; while the 

large thoroughfares and narrower streets 
through which one drives are teeming with 
inhabitants on business bent. 

The city of Calcutta is a curious mix- 
ture of magnificent buildings of imposing 
architectural designs on the one hand 
and of squalid tenements on the other. 
Nothing could be finer than the palatial 
commercial houses of the Esplanade, Old 
Court House Street, Clivc Street, or 
Chowringhee ; nor could anything be 
more unsightly than the insanitary, un- 
stable, and primitive dens — constructed 

and North ; Chowringhee, the Esplanade, 
Mayo and Outram Roads, Camac Street, 
Loudon Street, Park Street, Old Court 
House Street, Council House Street, Clive 
Street, Welleslcy Street, Auckland Road, 
and several others ; and it will be 
observed that many of these are named 
after noted Englishmen who have been 
connected with the earlier history of 
India. The narrower streets and bazaars, 
in which the native element reigns 
supreme, are anything but attractive; yet 
they are full of interest to the Westerner 


Photo by yohnston &• ItuJ/'iitanit, Cakiitttit 

chiefly of mud, bamboo, and matting — 
which may be seen in numberless streets 
and lanes. Families are huddled together, 
and the absence of the barest necessities 
which make for cleanliness and health is 
a blot upon twentieth-century civilization. 
One might point to . some of these 
abominations in Harrison Road, Chitpore, 
and the northern portion of the city gene- 
rally, to portions of Free School Street, 
Market Street, Corporation Street, Upper 
and Lower Circular Road, and in the 
alleys — distinguished as a rule by the 
word " lanes " — and it is doubtful if any- 
thing less salutary than a fierce fire in 
these quarters will ever purge them of 
the countless millions of germs with which 
they must be infested. 

Many of the principal thoroughfares, 
however, are of considerable width, and 
are usually kept in good order. These 
include Government I'lace East, West, 

who gazes for the first time upon Oriental 
faces, customs, dress, and methods of 
conducting business. 

The number of separate residences for 
])ersoni of the so-called " middle " class 
is amazingly small, and entirely out of 
proportion to the vast number of families 
for wliom a private residence is so desir- 
able. The consequence is that these 
people are compelled to live in flats, or 
suites of apartments — a most unsatisfac- 
tory arrangement to those who are blessed 
with children. 

There are, of course, many very hand- 
some private residences belonging to the 
wealthy classes, which have been substan- 
tially erected in spacious compounds, 
where the luxuriant vegetation of the East 
is seen in the richest profusion. The 
majority of these are in the neighbour- 
hood of Chowringhee, as, for instance, in 
Lower Circular Road, Theatre Road, 


Camac Street, Wood Street, Park Street, 
Loudon Street, and others. Somewhat 
farther afield, however, there are private 
palatial residences of great architectural " 
beauty, and of immensely valuable con- 
tents, whose owners occupy an honoured 
position among the nobility of India. The 
majority of these have been erected in 
comparatively recent years, and while 
English designs in architecture have been 
followed to a very large extent, the 
builders have not overlooked the fact that 
certain alterations were necessary in order 

tive room upholstered in dark blue 
leather, and crammed with volumes of a 
general historic character, political law, 
and a miscellaneous host of good readable 
literature of a general character. The 
truly artistic and a-sthetic tastes of its 
owner are manifested in the architectural 
beauties of this feudal-like castle, with 
its battlements, towers, and other emblems 
of a bygone age. 

" Emerald Bower," the country scat of 
the Maharaja of Tagore, is situated on the 
Barrackpore Road, on the north-eastern 


Vliolo by T. P. Sri:. 

that the structures should be suitable for 
the Indian climate. One of these is the 
handsome palace of the Maharaja Baha- 
dur Sir Jotindra Mohun Tagore, K.C.S.I., 
which is situated on the left-hand side of 
Chitpore Road, between Lai Bazar Street 
and Beadon Square, in Calcutta. Entry 
is gained under a massive portico with six 
Corinthian columns supporting a pedi- 
ment in which is a representation of the 
Star of India in bas relief. The mansion 
is luxuriously furnished throughout, and 
on every hand one sees priceless old pic- 
tures, statuary, and other artistic contents. 
Opposite the palace is Tagore Castle, 
built in the year 1886 at a cost, including 
furniture, of more than 1 1 lakhs of rupees. 
A very finely polished granite floor is laid 
in the entrance hall, while all around is 
a fine collection of old armour, busts, and 
paintings. The library is a most attrac- 

border of Calcutta, and is one of the 
" show " places of Bengal. The grounds 
are beautifully laid out, and the interior 
of the residence is sumptuously fur- 
nished ; but many visitors will be 
attracted chiefly by the magnificent col- 
lection of about seven hundred valuable 
paintings, than which there is no finer in 
India. Van Dyck, AJurillo, Ribara, Mol- 
tino, Daniel, Rubens, and other noted 
masters are represented; but the gem is a 
work by Sir John Opic, R.A., which was 
formerly in the possession of His late 
Majesty King George IV, and is believed 
to have cost no less than £12,000. 

No more gorgeously furnished palace 
in Calcutta can be found than the marble 
one in Mooktaram Babu's street belong- 
mg to the ancient Mullick family, who 
belong to the Siibortwbanik (or banker) 
caste of Bengal, and are justly renowned 


for their enterprise, wealth, and great 
liberality. Thirteen generations ago their 
ancestor Jadab Sil was honoured by the 
Mahommedan Government of the day with 
the hereditary title of Mullick, but the 
name of Sil is retained for use in religious 
and matrimonial ceremonies. The man- 
sion is approached through exceedingly 
massive gates, and from entering to 
leaving this mansion visitors will be 
deeply interested in the priceless collec- 
tion of paintings and art treasures of 
great variety. 

In attempting a description of the prin- 
cipal buildings, mention must be made 
first of all of Government House, a 
handsome building constructed at the 
beginning of the nineteenth century and 
modelled upon the designs of Keddleston 
Hall, in the county of Derby, England. 
The Throne Room — so called from the 
fact that it contains the throne of Sultan 
Tipu Tib — is an exceedingly noble 
apartment, containing portraits of their 
late Majesties Queen Victoria, King 
George III, and Queen Charlotte, and 
of Sir Arthur Wellesley and others; while 
the Council Room is adorned with i)or- 
traits of viceroys and notabilities, includ- 
ing the Earl of Minto, Lord Hardinge, Sir 
Eyre Coote, Lord Cornwallis, Warren 
Hastings, the Earl of Auckland, the Mar- 
quis of Wellesley, Lord Clive, and Lord 
William Bentinck. There are many 
objects of great historical interest both 
in the house and the grounds, among them 
being subsidiary treaties of Hyderabad, 
Mysore, and Seringapatam relating to the 
years 1798 and 1799; several guns rap- 
tured during the wars with Hyder .-Mi and 
his warlike son Tipu ; on the south side is 
a fine brass 32-pounder taken at Aliwal 
in 1846, and on the north is a huge iron 
gun with carriage representing a dragon. 

The State entrance is approached by 
a grand flight of 33 steps, 100 feet in 
width at the bottom and 67 feet at the 
top, where there is a noble portico with 
pillars 45 feet in height, of the Ionic 
order. The portico opens on to the first 
floor, where may be seen the vestibule, 
used as a breakfast-room, and the Grand 
Durbar Hall with beautifully polished 
marble floor. This apartment is known 
as the " Hall of the Caesars," from the 
1 2 marble busts (believed to have been 
taken firom a French vessel by Admiral 
Watson in 1757) which adorn the side 
circles. The public drawing-room is one 
of the finest in the building, and from it 
is obtained a lovely view of the Maidan 
and Fort William. 









J ^ 

< i 

U 5 


O * 

M I 

« ^^ 













The Town Hall, on the western side of 
Government House, is Doric in style of 
architecture, and it is the home of fine 
statues and paintings of {inter alia) 
Warren Hastings, Lord Cornwallis, Lord 
Gough, Bishop Wilson, and Sir C. 
Metcalfe. . Old Post Office Street sepa- 
rates this building from the High Court, 
which is a most imposing structure erected 
in the year 1872, somewhat after the style 
of the Town Hall of Yprcs, in Belgium. 
Accommodation has l)een found for seven 

personal influence of Warren Hastings, 
and while the eastern and western 
entrances have a noble appearance with 
their perfect Corinthian columns, the in- 
terior offers an infinity of attractions. 
There are a number of valuable paintings, 
but the tablets and tombs will be the 
chief attraction to the historian; and con- 
spicuous among the latter are the resting- 
places of Admiral Watson, who assisted 
Clive in retaking Calcutta from Suraj-ud- 
Daulah, Nawab of Bengal, at the battle 

Within a radius of two or three hundred 
yards of the Post Office arc the handsome 
new structures of the Telegraph Depart- 
ment, the Royal E.xchange, Writers' 
Buildings or the Bengal Secretariat, and 
the magnificent premises belonging to 
practically all the banking companies in 
Calcutta. It would be a great oversight 
if one were at this juncture to omit 
reference to the " Old Mission Church " — 
situated in Mission Row, a street on the 
eastern side of Dalhousie Square — the 



photos by yoknstoti & lio/Jinann. CitUufia, 

courts, libraries for judges and the Bar, 
and numerous other rooms which are 
occupied by officials. The exterior of the 
building is worthy of close attention, as 
it presents a most pleasing effect of the 
combination of Western and Eastern 
ideas; but the interesting collection of 
portraits of judges and other celebrities 
Tn the various rooms should not be over- 
looked. It has a tower, 180 feet in height, 
from which very extensive views are 

A walk of five minutes will take the 
visitor to St. John's Church. This is one 
of the most interesting buildings in Cal- 
cutta, and dates from the year 1788. Its 
construction was due very largely to the 

of Plassey in 1757, and of Job Charnock, 
the founder of Calcutta. 

One cannot gaze at the General Post 
Office — facing Dalhousie Square — without 
being reminded of the terrible horrors of 
the massacre of more than 120 British 
subjects in what is known in history as 
the " Black Hole of Calcutta," a spot 
within the precincts of the Old Fort 
William, now included in the area of the 
Post Office premises and denoted by a 
mural tablet erected by one of the few 
survivors to the memory of those who 
perished. The modern portion of the 
present Post Office, distinguished by its 
fine Corinthian pillars, was completed in 
the year 1870 at a cost of Rs. 6,30,000. 

Ijuilding of which was commenced in the 
year i 767 by a Swedish missionary named 
Keirnander. Financial troubles overtook 
this gentleman at a later date, and his 
creditors took possession of the edifice, 
although it was afterwards redeemed at 
a cost of Rs. 10,000 by Mr. Charles 
Grant, father of Lord Glenelg. While in 
this portion of the city, a visit should be 
paid to the Imperial Library at the corner 
of Strand Road and Hare Street, which 
contains a large number of very valuable 
works; special notice should be taken of 
the collection of ancient prints hanging 
on the walls of the principal staircase. 

The foundations of the Royal Mint were 
laid in the year 1824, and the constructioE 


of the central portico, which is a copy 
of the Temple of Minerva at Athens, 
covered a period of six years. While in 
this neighbourhood, a visit should be paid 
to the floating pontoon bridge which 
unites Calcutta with the Municipality of 
Howrah. It is 1,530 feet in length be- 
tween abutments, and the width (includ- 
ing wood pavements and roadway) is 
about 75 feet. The vehicular and 
pedestrian trafHc is exceedingly great 
from early morn until nearly midnight, 

way Company, abuts upon Lower Circular 
Road, in which there are 'not any buildings 
of particular importance; but proceeding 
in a westerly direction through Dhurrum- 
tollah, one arrives at the splendid 
thoroughfare known as Chowringhee 
Road, in which the leading clubs, hotels, 
and shops are situated. On the western 
side of this fine road is the splendid 
Maidan, while on the opposite side may 
be seen the very extensive business 
premises of Messrs. Leslie & Co., White- 

a very handsome building, mainly in the 
Gothic style, but with certain deviations 
calculated to suit the exigencies of the 
Indian climate. The chief attraction for 
visitors will be the western window, which 
was erected in the year 1880 as a 
memorial to Lord Mayo, a former Viceroy. 
An historian has written : " The library 
is perhaps the oldest in India. In the 
transept will be seen Chantrey's colossal 
statue of Bishop Hebcr, also a black 
marble tablet to the memory of sixteen 

and as it provides the only means of 
crossing the Hooghly— excepting by ferry 
steamers— for several miles from the city 
in either direction, it is not surprising that 
the authorities have decided to replace 
the pontoon by a permanent structure. 
Elaborate designs have been prepared, 
and it is expected that the work of con- 
struction will be put in hand in due 
course. On the Howrah side of the 
bridge are the passenger station and 
terminus of the systems of the Bengal- 
Nagpur and East Indian Railway Com- 
panies, but this is referred to elsewhere. 
The entrance to Sealdah Station, the 
city terminus of the Eastern Bengal Rail- 



Photo by yohnston &■ Hojfntaittt, Catcutla, 

away, Laidlaw & Co., Ltd., Messrs. G. F. 
Kellner & Co., Ltd., Messrs. Hall and 
Anderson, Ltd., the Continental and 
Grand Hotels, the Theatre Royal, the 
Young Men's Christian Association, the 
Indian Museum (housing zoological, an- 
thropological, industrial, art, and arch- 
ajological collections; and also a fine 
collection of minerals, fossils, and an- 
tiquities, among which are Buddhist 
remains believed to be more than 2,000 
years of age), the United Service and 
Bengal Clubs, the Army and Navy Stores, 
and the Bishop's Palace. 

St. Paul's Cathedral is situated between 
Chowringhee and Cathedral Road, and is 


officers who fell during the Indian Mutiny. 
It is ornamented with sixteen bronze 
medallions representing the blowing-up of 
the Cashmir Gate by Lieutenant Salkeld 
at the siege of Delhi. Near to the tablet 
is one to the memory of fifteen officers who 
fell in the Bhutan Campaign, and adjoin- 
ing this is a peculiar and elaborate 
monument of John Paxton Norman, 
Officiating Chief Justice of Bengal, who 
was assassinated on the steps of the Town 
Hall, Calcutta, on September 20, 1871." 

The Victoria Memorial Hall. — If there 
is an incident in the modern history of 
British India, other than the magnificent 
support given to Great Britain in the 



bloodiest war the world has ever seen, 
which commenced in August 1914, it is 
the unexampled outburst of loyalty and 
devotion to the Throne of England mani- 
fested in the hearty co-operation of 
Europeans and Indians of all castes and 
creeds, from princes to peasants, who 
have contributed of their wealth towards 
the erection of a permanent memorial in 
honour of Her late Majesty Queen 
Victoria, Empress of India, which will, 
as Lord Curzon, \'iceroy of India, said in 
a speech delivered in Calcutta in February 
1901, afford India an opportunity " not 
merely to express its devotion to the late 
Queen's memory, but also to demonstrate 
to the world in some striking manner the 
truth of that Imperial unity which was 
so largely the creation of her personality 
and reign." 

from Sir William Emerson, the President 
at the time of the Royal Institute of 
British Architects ; and the plans eventu- 
ally accepted, which followed the Italian 
Renaissance style, blended with a sugges- 
tion of Oriental feeling in some details, 
provided for: (i) a Hall of Sculpture; 
(2) a Hall of Paintings; (3) the Hall of 
Princes, to be devoted to collections pre- 
sented or lent by Indian Chiefs; (4) a 
Hall of Arms; (5) galleries or apartments 
to be devoted to the exhibition of minor 
objects; and (6) a Durbar Hall for in- 
vestitures or public meetings. The con- 
tents will include statuary and sculpture, 
paintings, engravings, prints, miniatures, 
photographs, maps, documents, manu- 
scripts, letters, treaties, flags, models, and 
personal relics and mementoes appertain- 
ing particularly to British rule in India 

Lord Curzon — who has been indefatigable 
in his exertions to further the project — 
and the leading Rulers and nobility in 
India, exclusive of many persons in 
England, some of whose ancestors have 
been closely identified with the making of 
political and commercial history in the 

The total cost of the Memorial is ex- 
pected to be between £300,000 and 
£400,000; and although an undertaking 
of this character must necessarily extend 
over many years, the Trustees have every 
reason to be highly satisfied with the pro- 
gress of the work and with the handsome 
manner in which donations in money and 
kind have been received or promised. 

The Secretary to the Trustees is Mr. 
C. B. Bayley, C.V.O. 

On the south side of Lower Circular 


I'holo by Johnston &- HojfvtanH, Calcutta. 

The proposal for the erection of a 
Memorial assumed concrete form by the 
appointment of a large and representa- 
tive committee upon which every portion 
of India was represented, and donations 
forthwith began to flow in from all 

The question of a suitable site was dis- 
cussed at a number of meetings, but the 
feeling was practically unanimous that it 
should be erected at Calcutta, as the then 
capital of India, and that it should stand 
on that part of the Maidan west of the 
cathedral where the unsightly jail then 
stood. It was intended that there should 
be a beautiful and spacious park, in the 
middle of which would rise the glittering 
marble structure, standing upon a terrace 
of white marble and facing northwards 
across the parade-ground, with its cen- 
tral dome of 160 feet in height, and 
visible from every part of the river and 
the Maidan. 

Designs for the building were obtained 

up to the end of Queen Victoria's reign. 
The whole of the beautiful white marble 
used in construction is being obtained 
from the Makrana quarries, in the State 
of H.H. the Maharaja of Jodhpur, in 
Rajputana, and about a mile distant from 
the railway station at Makrana. His late 
Majesty King Edward VI 1 was the first 
patron of and donor to the proposed 
Memorial, and his personal gifts included 
a number of oil paintings depicting scenes 
in the life of the " Good Queen," and 
these will ultimately be hung in the vesti- 
bule of the Central Hall— which will be 
called the Queen's Vestibule — and will be 
set apart for memorials personal to 

An immense number of objects have 
already (November 191 6) been presented 
to or acquired by the Trustees of the Hall, 
and among the names of other donors of 
arts, treasures, and relics, many of which 
are priceless, are His Majesty King 
George V and Her Majesty Queen Mary, 


Road is Belvedere House, at Alipore. near 
to the Calcutta racecourse, in whose 
grounds was fought the duel between 
Warren Hastings and Sir Philip Francis. 
This noble mansion was the residence of 
the Lieutenant-Governors of Bengal until 
that portion of India was converted into 
a Presidency with a Governor of its own. 
The rooms are now used as a temporary 
home for the exhibits, which will be trans- 
ferred to the Victoria Memorial Hall upon 
its completion. 

Not far from Belvedere is Hastings 
House, originally the country seat of 
Warren Hastings, the first Governor- 
General of Fort William in Bengal during 
the years 1774-85 ; and within a few 
rriinutes' drive in Thackeray Road is 
" Magistrate's House," where the famous 
novelist lived when a child. 

Returning citywards, one notices the 
Presidency General and the Military Hos- 
pitals. The original General Hospital 
was the property of the East India Com- 



pany, and was situated at the north-east 
corner of and adjoining what is now 
St. John's Churchyard. Concerning it, 
Hamilton, who wrote in i r ' 7, says : " The 
Company have a pretty good Hospital at 
Calcutta where many go to undergo the 
grievance of physic, but few come out 
to give an account of its operation." 
Another satire, probably of the same 
period, ran : — 

"In a verj- few days you're released from all 

If the Padre's asleep Mr. Oldham reads prayers ; 
To the grave you're let down with a sweet, 

pleasant thump. 
Anil there you may lie till you hear the last 


It may be mentioned that Mr. Oldham 
was Calcutta's first recognized under- 

The new hospital is near to the southern 
end of Chowringhee, and is a handsome 

red-brick building with very large airy 
wards and private rooms. It is 555 feet 
in length, with an extreme width in the 
centre of 69 feet; and it was opened in 
the year 1901 by Sir John Woodburn, 
then Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal. 

Turning to the north, with the race- 
course on the left hand, Fort William — 
the largest fortress in India — next claims 
one's notice. Its construction was com- 
menced in the year 1757, but completion 
did not take place until the year 1781. 
One of the first buildings to be seen on 
entering l)y the Chowringhee Gate is a 
massively constructed warehouse, which 
bears upon one of its walls a tablet with 
the following inscription : " This build- 
ing contains 51,258 mans of rice and 
20,023^ mans of paddy, which were de- 
posited by order of the Governor-General 
and Council, under the charge of John 

Belli, agent for providing victualling 
stores to the garrison, in the months of 
March, ."Xpril, and May 1782." Visitors 
should also find time to see St. Peter's 
Church, which is an exceedingly pretty 
building ; and, by permission, they may 
inspect the armoury and arsenal. 

One of the sights of the city is un- 
doubtedly the Sir Stuart Hogg Market, 
situated between Lindsay and Free 
School Streets and Corporation Place, 
and not more than 100 yards distant 
from the principal business section of 
Chowringhee. The building is most sub- 
stantially built of good red bricks, and 
neatly arranged stalls, in avenues running 
at right angles, are crammed with goods 
of all descriptions, ranging from fish, 
meat, and vegetables for the kitchen to 
ornamental articles for the drawing-room, 
and from a packet of needles to a com- 


/'/lotff by yohttston &■ Hoffmann, Caldttia. 



plete costume or suit of clothing. Tiie 
market is under the control of a Super- 
intendent appointed by the Calcutta 

Calcutta is remarkably well provided 
with open spaces and squares, and few 
cities in the East can boast of such a 
magnificent area for sporting and recrea- 
tion purposes as is furnished by the 
Maidan, which is four square miles in 
extent. It was dense jungle until the 
year 1757, when the work of clearing was 
commenced ; but now it provides ample 
accommodation for the racecourse of the 
Calcutta Turf Club, golf links, and 
grounds for numerous cricket, football, 
and tennis clubs ; while several well-kept 
roads are thronged every evening from 
about 5.30 to 7.30 with stylish carriages, 
motor-cars, and cycles. Further than 
this, there are thousands of individuals 
of all ages who take advantage of the 
quiet of the day in order to enjoy the 


Pkot;> by yohnslon &■ Hoffmann, Crtaitta. 

ever-green turf and the welcome shade of 
a large number of noble trees, which were 
reprieved when the felling-axe opened out 
this delightful breathing-spot. 

The Eden Gardens, situated at the 
north-west corner of the Maidan and 
separated by the Strand Road from the 
River Hooghly, contain a rare variety of 
tropical and other trees and plants, to- 
gether with artificial lakes and a finely 
carved pagoda, which was brought from 
Burma in the year 1856. The bandstand 
is occupied by a detachment of the City 
Volunteers, which plays selections of 
music from six to seven o'clock each even- 
ing; and the surrounding lawns are the 
nightly rendezvous of the belles of Cal- 
cutta and their gallant swains. Dalhousie, 
Wellington, Wellesley, Beadon, Rawdon, 
and Auckland Squares, situated in thickly 
populated districts of the city, are 
veritable oases in the wilderness of 
streets, and the inhabitants are not slow 


in taking advantage of these pleasant 

The Botanical Gardens are situated on 
the west bank of the River Hooghly, and 
they may be reached by ferry steamer 
from the principal landing-stages or by 
driving through Howrah. Several hours 
may be passed enjoyably in these beauti- 
ful grounds, but visitors should make a 
point of seeing the Herbarium, the finest 
in the East, which contains about 40,000 
choice specimens. Then the famous 
banyan-tree must be inspected ; it is 
about 235 years of age; the girth of the 
trunk is 52 feet, the height is 85 feet, 
and the circumference at the crown is 
nearly 1,000 feet. 

The development of India under British 
rule is associated with the names of illus- 
trious men, whose records are inefTaceably 
written on the pages of history; but the 
memory of many of these statesmen, 
soldiers, and others is perpetuated by a 


number of statues which have been erected 
in various parts of Calcutta, but chiefly 
on the Maidan. These include monu- 
ments dedicated to Lords Canning, Mayo, 
Lansdowne, Auckland, Roberts, Dufferin, 
Dalhousie, and Kitchener, together with 
an excellent one representing Her Majesty 
the late Queen Victoria ; while on the 
eastern side of the Maidan there is a very 
fine obelisk— 1 65 feet in height— in honour 
of Sir David Ochterlony, who was largely 
responsible for the termination of the 
Nepal War in 18 14-16, and who was 
British Resident in Rajputana in the year 


The Zoological Gardens are situated 
within five minutes" walk from the Kidder- 

Not far from these gardens is the cele- 
brated temple at Kalighat, which was built 
on the bank of Tolly's Nullah in honour 
of Kali, the wife of Siva. During the 
Durga Puja festival in the month of 
October a very large number of pilgrims 
assemble to take part in the religious pro- 
ceedings which are conducted then. There 
are other shrines of the goddess Kali in 
Bowbazar Street and elsewhere in the city, 
but none of them are of great importance. 

One must not, however, forget to men- 
tion the Mahommcdan mosque at the 
corner of Bentinck and Dhurrumtollah 
Streets, which was endowed in 1842 by 
Prince Gholam Muhammad, son of the 
famous Sultan Tipu Tib. An inscription 


Photo I'y ytthitiloit ir- Hcflfnattii Cahutta. 

pore Bridge, which can be reached by 
tram from any part of the city, and they 
were opened in 1876 by His Majesty the 
late King Edward VII when Prince of 
Wales. The gardens are very prettily 
laid out, and the collection of animals, 
birds, fish, and snakes contains many 
remarkably fine specimens. E.xcellent 
accommodation is provided for beasts and 
birds alike ; the mammoth rhinoceros 
revels in his boggy paddock; deer, ante- 
lopes, wallabies, and others roam about 
in spacious turf-covered arenas ; lions, 
tigers, leopards, and other fera naturce 
are comfortably housed in quarters pro- 
vided with ample space for exercise ; 
and monkeys, birds, and reptiles appear 
as happy in confinement — and probably 
happier — than their uncaged fellows. 

upon It reads as follows : " This Musjid 
was erected during the Government of 
Lord Auckland by the Prince Gholam 
Muhammad, son of the late Tipu Sultan, 
in gratitude to God and in commemora- 
tion of the Honourable Court of Directors 
granting him the arrears of his stipend in 

One of the most beautiful temples in 
Calcutta is the celebrated one near Halsi 
Bagan Road, which branches off from 
Upper Circular Road. It is in the Jain 
style of architecture, and was founded in 
1867 by Rai Budree Dass Bahadur, 
Mookim and Court Jeweller to the 
Government of India. The whole build- 
ing, from ground to ceiling, consists of 
pure white marble and mosaic work. The 
temple is dedicated to one of the Jain 


prophets, whose image is placed in the 
innermost portion of the sanctuary. The 
grounds in front of the temple are very 
picturesque in character, and it is worthy 
of notice that this most restful garden, 
with its fountains and statuary, is thrown 
open to the public during the greater part 
of each day. 

The Municipal Offices of Calcutta are 
situated in a handsome red-brick building, 
with frontages on Corporation, Hogg, and 
Fenwick Bazar Streets and Corporation 
Place. The officials include a Chairman, 
Vice-Chairman, and twenty-five Ward 
Commissioners, together with Executive 
Officers in the following Departments ; 
Secretary's, Engineer's, Medical Officers 
of Health, Drainage, Accounts, Provident 
Fund Accounts, Assessors, City Architect 
and Surveyor's, Collection, Licences, 
Hackney Carriage and Carts, Treasury, 
and Waterworks. The Health Depart- 
ment, it may be mentioned, has, in a city 
like Calcutta, which contains so many un- 
savoury localities, and in which so large 
a proportion of the population exhibit 
supreme indifference to the primary laws 
of sanitary science and hygiene, a good 
deal of responsibility on its hands; but 
the Chief Health Officer and his assistants 
are fighting bravely against the stubborn 
foes of disease — overcrowding, uncleanli- 
ness, and wilful carelessness as to the dis- 
posal of decaying garbage. The various 
branches of this department, staffed by 
competent officials, comprise experts in 
analytical work, medical, sanitary, food, 
and Disinfecting Inspectors, and mid- 
wives. Other departments are con- 
cerned with the burning ghat, burial- 
grounds, and lighting of streets. 

The High Court of Judicature of 
Bengal, situated in Esplanade West, is 
presided over by the Chief Justice, the 
Honourable Sir Lancelot Sanderson, Kt., 
K.C., who is assisted by seventeen Puisne 
Judges. The Court of Small Causes has 
its headquarters at 3, Bankshall Street, 
but there is a suburban court at 136, 
Lower Circular Road. There are about 
half a dozen judges, who sit in their 
respective courts, and the chief judge is 
Dr. T. Thornhill, LL.D. 

Manufacturing and industrial enter- 
prises have increased rapidly during the 
past half-century, since the opening of 
railways in the interior of Bengal and 
other Provinces has provided greater 
facilities for the transfer of raw materials 
and produce to commercial centres, and 
has given increased opportunities to 
merchants for the consignment of mer- 


chandise to markets. The manufacture 
of jute is the most valuable industrial 
concern in Calcutta, and a history of the 
cultivation of this plant and the subse- 
quent treatment of fibre in the mills on 
the Hooghly is the subject-matter of 
special notes on another page. Other im- 
portant concerns in or near to the city 
include mills and factories for crushing 
bones, spinning cotton, the manufacture 
of flour, sugar, ice, pottery tiles, bricks, 
and ropes, and the crushing of oil-seeds, 
together with shipbuilding and iron and 
brass foundries. 

The Calcutta Tramways Company, 
Ltd., was registered in England in 
December 1880, having obtained a " run- 
ning " concession for twenty-one years, 
and operations were commenced in cer- 
tain portions of the city with a service of 
steam trams and horse cars. Two years 
before the expiry of that period, how- 
ever, an agreement was entered into with 
the Calcutta Corporation, under which the 
company was granted a " new concession 
for thirty years, dating from January i, 
1 90 1, in consideration of the system being 
converted from steam- and horse-power to 
electric traction within three years." 

The installation of electric motive 
power — conveyed to cars by an overhead 
trolley system — was commenced in the 
year 1900, and the whole of the work was 
completed for regular service in Novem- 
ber 1902. The company have from time 
to time linked the central portions of the 
city with rising suburbs, and at the 
present time (November igi6) the routes 
cover a distance of 30.^ miles of double- 
track lines, inclusive of the system in the 
town of Howrah, in which there are nearly 
five miles of permanent way. First- and 
second-class cars (the latter " trailers ") 
are run on every trip on all sections, and 
the convenience of the travelling public 
has been further considered by the issue 
of transfer tickets, which arc available for 
one change of cars on a journey involving 
travel on two distinct sections, of which 
there are eleven in Calcutta and three 
in Howrah. 

The service is, on the whole, a satisfac- 
tory one, and punctuality is observed in 
the running of the cars. During the 
summer months the cars start from their 
respective stations at five o'clock in the 
morning, and in winter the time is 5.30, 
but they continue to run until i 1.30 p.m. 
throughout the whole of the year. 

Hackney carriages and taxis can be 
engaged at appointed places in nearly all 
the principal streets, while private vehicles 

and saddle-horses may be obtained from 
a numlier of first-class livery stables. 

Very enjoyable trips can be made in 
ferry steamers on the Hooghly, and 
among the interesting places to be visited 
are: Matiabrooze, 40 minutes' journey; 
Rajabagan, noted for its shipbuilding 
yards and factories; Rajgunge, centre of 
fishing and coconut industries; and 
Cossipore, where there is a gun factory, 
in addition to a sugar factory and a 
number of jute presses. These and a few 
other places can be reached in less than 
an hour, but longer trips may be made to 
Chandernagore, a French settlement, 21 
miles distant from Calcutta ; Hooghly, 

portion of whom are engaged in the busy 
shipbuilding yards, foundries, and fac- 
tories on the Hooghly. 

Various schemes for the improvement 
of streets and other highly necessary 
works have repeatedly been placed before 
the citizens, but there appear to be many 
urgent reasons for the pigeon-holing of 
the proposals for a practically indefinite 

Garden Reach, also on the Hooghly, 
was formerly the principal residential 
quarter of the fashionable inhabitants of 
Calcutta ; but almost the whole area — 
including a very beautiful house and 
grounds occupied about the year 1856 


I'holo Ity T. r. Sill, 

founded by the Portuguese in 1457; 
Chinsurah, formerly belonging to the 
Dutch, and containing quaint old speci- 
mens of architecture ; Oolooberria, 20 
miles, and Fultah, 36 miles, both in the 
direction of the outlet of the river into 
the Bay of Bengal. 

The majority of the suburbs of Calcutta 
are situated in the districts in which busy 
native bazaars predominate, but a brief 
reference may be made to the following: — 

Howrah, which might almost be taken 
as a part of Calcutta, is the chief town 
in the district of Howrah, which extends 
for a distance of about eight miles along 
the right bank of the River Hooghly. It 
is a municipal borough with a population 
of about 180,000 inhabitants, a large pro- 

by a former king of Oudh — is now a busy 
commercial centre, in which are jute and 
cotton mills, soap-works, coolie lines, and 
the Army Remount Department. The 
palatial offices of the Bengal-Nagpur 
Railway Company are situated here, and 
the Kidderpore Docks are entered from 
Garden Reach Road. Proceeding in a 
northwardly direction past Calcutta, but 
within a distance of four and a half miles 
from the city, is Dum-Duaii, a cantonment 
with station on the Eastern Bengal 
Railway system. There is a small-arms 
ammunition factory here, which gives em- 
ployment to a large number of hands. 
Here are also several attractive bungalows 
with gardens and grounds, which are used 
largely by picnic parties from Calcutta. 


Tollygunge is one of those well- 
tinibered beauty-spots, with scores of 
acres of velvety sward, which are never 
too numerous in the vicinity of largely 
populated towns and cities. It is within 
half an hour's drive from Calcutta, along 
a road which is being widened and im- 
proved. Upon arrival one notices a fine 
open stretch of park-like grounds, flanked 
by beautiful trees of all kinds; and in the 
distance is a large building known as the 
Club House, which is the headquarters 

The wqrkshops cover an area of about 
95 acres, and upwards of 5,000 men are 
employed in construction and maintenance 
work. An idea of the importance of the 
establishment is conveyed by the state- 
ment that the output of new work at the 
shops is equivalent to one carriage and 
five wagons daily throughout the year. 

Chief among the suburbs within five 
miles from Calcutta, and situated in 
easterly and north-easterly directions, are 
Entally, Shambazar, Chitpore, Baghbazar, 

until 1915, when his manager, Mr. A. 
Prati, became owner. 

The firm are dealers in Italian marble 
tiles of all descriptions, slabs, flooring 
tiles, tablesj and pillars, and they under- 
take any kind of work in " Excelsior " 
mosaic or patent stone, among which may 
be mentioned : ordinary patent stone for 
floors, footpaths, roads, kerbs, channels, 
and balustrades : reinforced ferro- 
concrete for walls, railway sleepers, 
cargo boats, pontoons, and roofing ; red 


for members who indulge in racing, golf, 
archery, polo, tennis, and other games. 

Three miles from Calcutta is Lillooah, 
the headquarters, with office and work- 
shops of the carriage and wagon 
department of the East Indian Railway 
Company. It is with pardonable pride 
that the officials of this company are able 
to point to exceedingly superior work- 
manship manifested here in the construc- 
tion of a most luxuriantly furnished 
broad-gauge State railway train of ten 
bogie vehicles, for the use of their 
Imperial Majesties on the occusion of the 
Coronation Durbar in 1911-12. The 
total weight of the train was 428 tons, 
and it had an extreme length of 700 feet. 

Jorabagan, Manicktollah, and Belgatchia; 
but all of these are business centres, with 
little of importance to recommend them 
as visiting-places for tourists. 


The manufacture of " Excelsior " 
mosaic walling, laid plastically, and 
proof against damp, is a special feature 
of the business enterprise of Messrs. F. 
Acerboni & Co., of 2 Watkins Lane, How- 
rah, near Calcutta. The firm was estab- 
lished more than fifty years ago by Mr. 
F. Acerboni, and he was succeeded by 
Mr. C. Albertini, who was sole proprietor 

patent stone polished for floors and 
walls ; white polished imitation marble 
for floors and walls ; imitation coloured 
marble for walls, pillars, and ornamental 
works ; mosaic stone polished in any 
colour laid down plastically, and also sup- 
plied in tiles for floors, pillars, basins, 
and dissecting and other tables ; and 
polished white cement plastering. 

Messrs. .Acerboni & Co. carried out the 
greater portion of the marble and mosaic 
work at Government House, Calcutta, at 
a number of Government buildings, for 
the Calcutta Port Commissioners, and at 
several stations on the principal railway 
systems in India ; and they are con- 
tractors to the Government of Bengal, 


the Public Works Department, railway 
authorities, and the Howrah Municipality. 

A gold medal and a first-class certifi- 
cate for excellence of works were awarded 
to this firm at the Calcutta Industrial 
and Agricultural Exhibition held in 

Very fine marble and " Excelsior " 
mosaic works have been done at many 
of the principal buildings in India, 
including the Presidency General Hos- 
pital, Medical College Hospital, Lady 
Dufferin's Victoria Hospital, Eden Hos- 
pital, Campbell Hospital, Imperial 
Library, the Foreign and Military 
Offices, the palace of the Lord Bishop 
of the Diocese, the General Post Ofiice, 
High Court, Paper Currency Office, His 
Majesty's Mint, the palaces of H.H. the 
Governor of Bengal and H.H. the 
Maharaja of Nattore, Writers' Building in 
Calcutta, Pilgrim Hospital at Puri, the 
Curzon Hall at Dacca, the palaces of the 
Bettiah Raj at Bettiah, the palace at 
Dacca of the late Governor of Eastern 
Bengal, General Hospital at Howrah, 
East Indian Railway stations, and at the 
Bengal-Nagpur Railway new station at 

A large supply of marble is kept in 
stock at the firm's workshops, godowns, 
and showrooms in Watkins "Lane, and the 
daily output of their well-known manu- 
factures has reached very large dimen- 
sions, owing to the first-class quality 
of materials and to the exceedingly 
satisfactory manner in which commissions 
are executed. 

The telegraphic address is " Acerboni, 
Watkins Lane, Howrah." 


" The original ship-chandlers of the 
East " is the designation by which the 
old-established and reputable firm of 
Messrs. Ahmuty & Co., of 6 Church 
Lane, Calcutta, is widely known. The 
title is pregnant with meaning when it is 
remembered that the firm have been in 
existence since the memorable year of 
Waterloo, and that in those days sailing 
ships, after long and tedious voyages 
from England by way of the Cape, de- 
pended largely upon Calcutta for stores, 
and occasionally equipment, before they 
could set forth on their return journeys. 

Imperial troops were being conveyed to 
the Old Country about this time, and con- 
tracts for provisioning the men were 
entrusted to Messrs. Ahmuty & Co., who 

forthwith established a bakery and dis- 
tillery for the supply of biscuits and rum 
respectively, and the factories were known 
by the name of " The .'Mbion Works." 

What a history is wrapped up in these 
hundred years ! " Wind-jammers " are 
rarely seen to-day ; Calcutta is now a 
huge city with extensive dock accommo- 
dation, and not a mere settlement on the 
muddy banks of the Hooghly as it was 
then ; and the small ship-chandlery store 

and saw-mills, and tea and indigo 

A special feature is made of the supply 
of manila, coir, cotton, and wire ropes, 
paulins, ships* composition, waterproof 
and rot-proof canvas, paints, oils, fine 
varnishes, enamels, cement, signal lamps, 
rockets, blue lights, fog-signals, wood- 
working machinery, lathes, drilling 
machines, and practically all engineer- 
ing requirements. 

I. The F.\croKY at Howrah. 

2. Mosaic Walling by F. Acerbom & Co. at Du.ncax Bros, & Co.s 
BciLDiNG, Clivk Street, Calcitta. 


opened by Messrs. Ahmuty & Co. has 
grown into one of the most important 
trading establishments in India. 

The firm had the valuable support of 
the East India Company, which was a 
substantial asset to a newly started busi- 
ness, and from that time to the present 
(April 19 1 6) the transactions of the cen- 
tury reveal a record of uninterrupted 

Briefly, Messrs. Ahmuty & Co. may 
now be described as engineers, machinery, 
metal, and hardware merchants. Govern- 
ment and railway contractors, ships' 
chandlers, general storekeepers, sup- 
pliers of rum, spirits of wine, and Indian 
condiments, and contractors to His 
Majesty's Royal Indian Marine Dock- 
yard, the Ordnance Department, .'\rsenals, 
Indian Government factories, the Supply 
and Transport Departments, State rail- 
ways, steamship companies, jute, cotton, 


The agencies held by the firm arc of a 
very important character, and include : 
The Silicate Paint Company and Messrs. 
Colthurst and Harding, of London, for 
varnishes and paints ; Messrs. Storry, 
Smithson & Co., Ltd., of Hull, for protec- 
tive compositions for the bottoms of ships ; 
Messrs. Hamilton & Co., of London, for 
paint brushes and sash tools ; Messrs. 
W. B. Brown & Co., of Liverpool, for 
steel wire ropes for hauling or mining 
purposes ; Messrs. Platts and Lowther, 
London, for packings ; Messrs. Crawshaw 
& Sons, Dewsbury, for belting for mills ; 
the Willesden Paper and Canvas Works, 
Ltd., London, Messrs. Samuel Wills & 
Co., Ltd., Bristol, Messrs. Pinchin, 
Johnson & Co., London, for paints and 
enamels ; and Messrs. John Pickles & 
Son, Hebden Bridge, England, for saw- 
mill and wood-working machinery. 

The manager, Mr. C. F. Jordan, has 

I. TaE HxAD Office. 




I. THE Rope Walk. 2. spinning Room. 3, PBEPARinr, Department, ■ 4. ExtiixE Room. 

5. Coir, 




been connected with Messrs. Ahmuty & 
Co. for a very lengthy period, and his 
practical experience, combined with per- 
sonal attention, is an ample guarantee 
that the requirements of customers will 
receive the utmost consideration. 


It is somewhat curious to notice that 
many important firms in Calcutta are un- 
able to produce authentic records of their 
early history when Calcutta was " in the 
making," but this is no fault of the pro- 
prietors, as there have been two deadly 
enemies at work, namely, fire and white 

Belfast. With such an equipment as this 
the proprietors are justified in their con- 
tention that one of the largest and most 
complete roperies in the East is to be 
found at the Shalimar Works. 

Nearly all the ropes manufactured in 
Calcutta are made from Manila, New 
Zealand, or country-grown hemp, from 
sisal or aloe fibre, and from coir, and 
each rope when completed is coiled 
neatly, packed, and then sent to the 
weighing-room to be scaled, and subse- 
quently dispatched to its destination. 

Some interesting figures may be given 
here as to the breaking strains of Manila 
cordage ; a rope having a circumference 

WoRKiNt; ox Hand Machines. 

ants. The Shalimar Rope Works, as a 
case in point, were established many 
decades ago, but old documents and 
books were destroyed, and definite in- 
formation can only be obtained from the 
time when Messrs. Ahmuty & Co., of 6 
Church Lane, Calcutta, came into posses- 
sion of them, about the year 1850. 

The ropery is situated at Howrah, on 
the western bank of the River Hooghly, 
near to the beautiful Botanical (hardens. 
Between the years 1905 and 1906 the 
premises were entirely rebuilt and refitted 
with modern rope-making plant, and new 
engines and boilers of the latest type, 
which were obtained from the well-known 
firm of Messrs. Fairburn, Lawson, 
Coombe, Barbour, Ltd., of Leeds and 

of 2 in. yields to a pull of i ton 4 cwt., 
and a 10 in. one withstands 30 tons ; 
while a i6-in. cable will not snap under 
76 tons. 

Contracts are held for the annual 
supply of Manila and country hemp, coir 
and wire ropes and lines to the Indian 
Government Dockyard, the Ordnance and 
Supply and Transport Departments, to 
Arsenals and the Indian Government fac- 
tories. State railways, and steamship and 
other companies ; but products are also 
consigned to Burma, the Straits Settle- 
ments, Siam, Java, Borneo, Sumatra, 
Hong Kong, the Philippine Islands, 
Karachi, Bushire, Aden, Australia, New 
Zealand, and South and East Africa. 

The paulin factory, situated on the 


premises of the rope works, has for many 
years supplied goods to Government 
departments. State railways, and factories 
and steamship and other companies, but 
there is a very large demand from private 
firms in the principal cities and towns of 
India. English canvas is used for these 
covers, which are dressed with a patent 
preparation in black, blue, green, khaki, 
or red colours, which are guaranteed to 
be free from adhesiveness in sunshine or 
rain, and also from any matter likely to 
cause spontaneous combustion. Tar was 
formerly used to render such sheets 
waterproof, but that substance was dis- 
carded owing to its viscid qualities, and 
the composition just referred to was sub- 

Other products of the factory are tents, 
awnings, boat and wagon covers, purdahs, 
and screens. 


It is an undoubted fact that India has 
throughout a long period of years been 
importing necessaries as well as luxuries 
when she herself might have manufactured 
them from the wealth of raw material 
within her own borders, and it is satis- 
factory to note that interest has lately been 
aroused in the promotion of industries 
which will present good investments for 
capitalists, and will find profitable occu- 
pation for thousands of her population. 

What are known as " cottage " indus- 
tries have had a distinct check placed 
upon them by the introduction of 
machinery, but on the other hand it lias 
been shown that it is possible for families 
to produce practically everything required 
for their own homes and thus become 

The manufacture of hosiery and under- 
wear is an imported industry, but special 
machines have been introduced into India 
for use in factories and schools and in 
private houses, with the result that a very 
large number of articles are now being 
knitted and placed upon the Indian market 
where ready sales are eff'ected. The All- 
India Hosiery Manufacturing Company, of 
li/i and 1 1/2 Lindsay Street, Calcutta, 
have introduced very efficient hand-knit- 
ting machines, and they have supplied 
more than a thousand of these in various 
parts of the country from Tinnevelly to 

During the year 1916 more than 
500,000 pairs of socks were manufactured 
for the company on those machines, while 


thousands of other pairs were disposed of 
to local traders. The company keep a 
large number of these machines on their 
premises, and they are prepared, at a 
moment's notice, to send out trained 
workmen for the equipment of large or 
small factories. The hand machines are 
so simple that even children can quickly 
learn the art of knitting, and it may be 
added that a number of them are now in 
use in schools for the deaf and dumb and 
blind in Calcutta and other cities. 
Expert knitters can in their own homes 


This company was formed towards the 
end of 1895 by Messrs. Begg, Dunlop 
& Co., of 12 Mission Row, Calcutta, who 
conduct the affairs of the company as its 
managing agents. 

The original mill, containing a full 
complement of all classes of preparing 
and finishing machinery and three hun- 
dred looms, was built during 1896, and 
completed in titiie to allow manufacturing 
to be commenced in May 1897. Subse- 
quent extensions and the building of a 

There is electric lighting throughout, the 
company having its own generating plant. 
The repair shops are well equipped 
with up-to-date tools, including gear- 
cutting and milling machines, power 
hammer, and other plant, and there is 
also a foundry with a cupola capacity of 
4 tons of molten metal per hour. The 
mill buildings and warehouses are pro- 
tected against fire by a complete instal- 
lation of " Grinnell " automatic sprink- 
lers, chemical extincteurs, and the neces- 
sary buckets to meet the requirements of 

1. Soi'iH Mill Exgine, 2,200 h.p. 2, Overhead T.^nk for Filtering Drinking Waiek. 

earn Rs. 50 or Rs. 60 monthly, while 
capitalists may secure a good return upon 
their investments from the manufacture of 
all kinds of underwear, banians, sweaters, 
neckties, gas mantles, and other articles. 

The company are agents in India for 
general goods of all kinds, including agri- 
cultural and other machinery and imple- 
ments, electrical goods, hardware, metals, 
windmills, lamps, fans, motor-cars and 
cycles, leather goods, harness, saddles, 
wearing apparel, clocks, watches, musical 
instruments, and boots and shoes. 

The telegraphic address of the company 
is " Bobbins," Calcutta. 

second mill in 1904 have brought the 
property up to a spinning power of 
22,459 spindles and 1,073 looms, with 
buildings capable of accommodating 200 
more looms and other necessary 
machinery. The daily out-turn of the 
mill is 100 tons of manufactured cloth, 
equalling 270,000 yards, with sewing 
machines equal to the production of 
120,000 bags per day. 

The power for driving the machinery 
is generated by three compound condens- 
ing steam engines developing 4,400 i.h.p., 
and the steam is raised by two batteries 
of ten and nine boilers respectively. 


the fire insurance offices. A hydrant ser- 
vice of eighty-one stand-pipes surrounds 
the mill buildings, and is fed by three 
lai'ge steam pumps, drawing a practically 
unlimited supply from the mill tanks, 
which can be readily replenished from 
the River Hooghly. In addition twenty- 
four hydrants are distributed in the coolie 

The warehouses for carrying stocks of 
raw jute have a capacity of 3,678,375 
cub. ft., and there are also two large 
warehouses, fitted with travelling cranes, 
for accommodating bales of manufactured 
goods awaiting shipment. 


I, OFFICE. i. North Factory, 3, avf.xie. 


I. Yarn 


Pressing. 2, Looms. 3. Hvdkaulic Press, also War Bags and Trusses, each containing 250 British War Bags. 4. Sewing Shed, with War B.\gs. 



A water filter plant of 40,000 gallons 
per hour capacity supplies the residents 
in the compound, the coolie lines, and 
the immediate neighbourhood with a 
plentiful supply of pure drinking water. 

A dispensary, free to all workers, is 
tinder the charge of a qualified medical 
officer and compounder, and there is an 
operating theatre where first aid can be 
given in cases of accidents, while sanitary 
arrangements are provided in four large 
septic tank latrines, the filters of the in- 
stallations being automatically fed by 
revolving spreaders. 

Otiier buildings consist of a central 
office, dwellings for the European staff, 
a block of houses for Indian clerks, and 
1,025 brick-built huts for mill coolies. 
The Indian establishment consists of over 
6,400 workers. 

The property consists of 61 acres of 
land abutting on the River Hooghly at 
Jagatdal, Shamnagar, in the District of 
Twenty-four Pergannas, Bengal, and is 
22 miles distant by road from the city 
of Calcutta. Two railway sidings connect 
the property with the main line of the 
Eastern Bengal Railway, by which route 
all coal required and the greater part of 
the mills' requirements in raw jute come 
forward, while, owing to inter-railway 
running, a direct route is available for 
the dispatch of goods to any part of 
India served by a railway system. For 
the dispatch of goods for export froan 
Calcutta the company has two loading 
berths on the river, and they own a fleet 
of sixteen 50-ton cargo boats and a 
powerful steam tug for conveying the 
goods by river to the side of the export 
vessel. Raw jute is also transported by 
the river routes. 

The managing agents are assisted in 
the conduct of the company's business 
by a staff of Scotsmen, consisting of a 
commercial manager and assistant, a mill 
manager, two assistant managers, three 
clerks, two engineers, and eighteen 
departmental overseers and mechanics. 

It may be incidentally mentioned that 
this company have been largely employed 
in the manufacture of sand and other 
bags for the .Allied Governments during 
the prosecution of the great European 


The history of this firm, who com- 
menced business some years ago as 
general engineers at Behala, a suburb of 
Calcutta, is a record of consistent de- 
velopment, due to the impetus given to 

mechanical enterprises by the firm grip 
which the motor industry lias obtained in 
commercial circles throughout the world. 
Motor-cars and cycles are seen in 
increasing numbers in our streets, and 
their advent has changed the whole char- 
acter of the majority of the engineering 
workshops in this and other countries. 

Mr. P. Gibson became proprietor of 
the concern in 1910, and he removed the 
factory to Ballygunge, where repairs to 
motor vehicles were made a special 
feature, although a commodious garage 
was at the same time opened in Wellesley 
Street, Calcutta. It was subsequently 
found that the latter site possessed 
superior advantages for the conduct of 
business, and the owner thereupon en- 
larged the garage, and removed all his 
machinery and plant to the city premises. 
During the next three years progress was 
so rapid that greater building accommo- 
dation became a necessity, and a large 
depot was accordingly secured in Free 
School Street, where additional machinery 
and a complete oxy-acetylene welding 
plant were installed. 

About the close of the year 1913 Mr. 
Gibson keenly felt the enormous respon- 
sibilities which he had to bear, and, with 
the view of a division of the burden, he 
admitted into partnership Mr. J. A. 
Thomson, who had been connected with 
the Dunlop Motor Company, of Kilmar- 
nock, Scotland. 

A very extensive repairing connection 
was then established, and, in response to 
repeated inquiries for new cars, it was 
decided to open showrooms in a central 
portion of the city. Suitable premises 
were therefore erected on a prominent 
position in Park Street in the year 19 14, 
and the firm then became agents for the 
Hillman Motor Car Company, Ltd., of 
Coventry, the Palladium Autocars, Ltd., 
of London, the Cadillac Motor Company, 
Ltd., of Detroit, the James Motor Cycle 
Company, of Birmingham, and the Saxon 
Motor Company, of Detroit, who build 
comparatively low-priced two-seater cars, 
which, with their special qualifications of 
cantilever springing and high ground 
clearance, have proved to be particularly 
suitable for the apologies for roads in 
the mofussil. 

These agencies necessitated a further 
extension of the Park Street building, and 
accommodation was also found for a sepa- 
rate department for painting and coach 
repairs, which had hitherto been done by 

The workshops — and especially the 

repairs branch — are under the direct 
supervision of thoroughly trained Euro- 
pean motor engineers, and it is believed 
that the firm have as large a percentage 
of competent overseers as any other firm 
in the East. 

Towards the close of the year 1914 
the oxy-acetylene welding branch had 
grown to such an extent that it was made 
a separate concern by the formation of 
a private limited liability company, the 
shareholders comprising the partners of 
the firm and a few personal friends. 

Since the establishment of the Oxy- 
."^cetylene Welding and Metal Cutting 
Company, Ltd., a large number of im- 
portant cutting and welding contracts 
have been entered into, among which may 
be mentioned the work done for the 
Lower Ganges bridge at Sara. 

Special attention is devoted to repairs 
to broken machine parts, including in- 
tricate castings, such as motor-car cylin- 
ders and aluminium crank-cases, and, in 
order that repairs to boilers and ships 
may be undertaken, the services of a 
competent European welder have been 

Owners of mills and factories now 
realize that, by the aid of oxy-acetylene 
blowpipes, broken machinery can Ije Ve- 
paired at a fraction of the cost of a new 
part, and with the saving of an enormous 
amount of valuable time. 

A considerable business is done by the 
firm in the importation of carbide of 
calcium for oxy-acetylene welding and 
lighting purposes. 


This firm of general merchants and 
agents, with offices at 22 Strand Road, 
Calcutta, carry on an extensive inland and 
foreign trade in the export of general mer- 
chandise and produce of India, and in the 
importation of various descriptions of 
hard and soft goods from Europe. 

They are managing agents for the 
Khardal Coal Company, Ltd., Bokaro and 
Ramgur. Ltd., and the Central Kurkend 
Company, Ltd., and are agents for the 
Alliance Assurance Co., Ltd., the Com- 
mercial Union Assurance Company, Ltd. 
(marine department), the West Presses, 
Sulkea, and the Natal Direct Line of 

Their correspondents in London are 
Messrs. Clarke, Wilson & Co. 


The most remarkable success has 
attended the efforts of Mr. E. O. Gam- 

1. Park Street Showrooms 


::. IsTEKioR, Park Street Showroom:;. 3. The Workshops, Free School Street. 

4. Interior View of Workshops, Free School Street. 



meter, the proprietor of the Anglo-Swiss 
Watch Company since he commenced 
business at 4 Dalhousie Square, Calcutta, 
in the month of October 1909. Little 
more than seven years ago he occupied one 
small room, and being fortunately well- 
equipped with necessary tools and up-to- 
date appliances for the watchmaking trade, 
and possessing an indomitable spirit 
enabling him to overcome difficulties, he 

and cleaning of an ordinary timekeeper or 
the manufacture of a wheel or some other 
intricate piece of mechanism of the most 
delicately made watch. The watch-making 
department is fitted with up-to-date 
labour-saving appliances, and that im- 
portant work, as well as the execution of 
repairs, is either personally executed or 
is controlled by highly qualified Euro- 
peans who hold diplomas for conspicuous 

A special feature is made of the 
" Cavalry " lever wrist watch, which has 
made a coveted name for itself in the 
East as a reliable, durable, accurate, and 
distinctly serviceable timekeeper. These 
watches have recently been provided with 
" Tropical " non-oxidising silver cases, 
guaranteed not to become black, even in 
India, where the climate plays havoc with 
the best silver of the ordinary kind. The 

A Portion of the Showroom. ::. A Corxf.r of thf. Indi.\s Watchm.^king Section. 

^. Where the most Frail Paf.ts of a Watch can be Manufactured. 

soon proved himself to be a man who was 
confident that his practical experience in 
his own line of business would eventually 
be widely recognized by the inhabitants 
of the city. 

Four assistants provided all the help 
that Mr. Gammeter required in those 
days, but no better proof can be given 
of the immense expansion of the business 
than to point to the fact that employment 
is now found for about fifty Indian work- 
men and clerks and some ten European 

All employees are of the highest ability 
in their respective grades, and expert 
Europeans super\'ise all work carried out 
on the premises, whether it be the oiling 

skill in both theoretical and practical 

The company's claim to be the largest 
importers of watches and clocks in the 
East is not difficult to be understood when 
one sees the huge stock of all classes of 
goods which they always maintain, and is, 
further, made acquainted with the very 
wide area of the firm's activities. 

As wholesale watchmakers and jewellers 
they supply more than five hundred Euro- 
pean and Indian firms in the trade with 
their requirements, while their business 
connections extend throughout the whole 
of India, as well as in Burma, Ceylon, the 
Straits Settlements, Java, Sumatra, and 
even as far as British East Africa. 


company are patentees and sole manufac- 
turers of the " Novelty," " Simplex," and 
" Saddle Novelty " wrist watch bands. 

The jewellery manufacturing depart- 
ment is a comparatively new venture, but 
it is already full of promise of success, 
and the most intricate and frail pieces 
of plain gold and gem-set jewellery 
(hitherto obtained from Birmingham or 
the Continent of Europe) is being manu- 
factured by the company in their work- 
shops by highly skilled Indian workmen 
under the supervision of a European 

The company have been compelled to 
enlarge their accommodation from time to 
time, and although the floor space occu- 


pied by offices, show, and workrooms to- 
day is fully twelve times greater than in 
1909, the need for further room is keenly 
felt by the proprietor, and it cannot be 
long before he will be under the necessity 
of meeting this deficiency. 

The home offices and factory of the 
company are at Quartier de I'lndustric, 
Soleure, Switzerland. 



This firm was established in Calcutta 
in the year 1899 by Mr. Geo. Beaver and 
Mr. J. N. Vinall, who commenced trading 
as importers of every description of india- 
rubber goods for mechanical purposes, 
hoses, tubings, packings, beltings, and 
railway, shipping, colliery, mills, and 
general engineering requisites. Mr. 
Beaver retired from the firm in 1910, 
and the business was continued by Mr. 

importers of rubber goods in Calcutta, 
and their reputation is such that their 
regular customers now include various 
Government departments in India and 
Burma, the principal railway systems, 
shell and arms factories, jute and other 
mills, collieries, municipalities, and dis- 
trict boards. 

Messrs. Beaver & Co. have been nearly 
twenty years in the Indian market, and 
they have made the best possible use of 
their experience, with the result that the 
quality of their wares is such that the 
peculiarly trying climatic conditions of 
the East have no deteriorating effect upon 

A special feature is made of vulcanized 
indiarubber and canvas hose, air and 
water valves, and " Karmal " high-pres- 
sure packing for steam power service from 
80 to 120 lb. The firm's stores and 
godovvns, situated behind their offices, 
carry a very large stock of imported 

other buffers ; solid indiarubber mats for 
hotels, mansions, public buildings, steam- 
ships, railway saloons, carriages, and 
cabs ; matting for staircases ; specially 
hardened solid rubber tyres ; tubing for 
acids and other chemicals ; armoured and 
plain delivery hose, seamless woven 
canvas hose for use in mills, brass hose 
fittings, including branches, taps, cones, 
couplings, and rings ; sheet indiarubber ; 
and asbestos millboard, gaskets, fibre, 
block packing, woven tape, and thread 
and cord. 

A brief reference should be made to 
the " Karmal " engine packing, which 
withstands the highest pressure of steam, 
and, being a self-lubricating substance, 
it does not require oil, tallow, or any 
other kind of grease. 

Messrs. Beaver & Co. also supply best 
English leather belting, oak tanned and 
well shrunk, woven hair, cotton, lami- 
nated and other beltings suitable for jute 


I. Exterior of the Premises. 

A Portion of the Warehouse. 

Vinall and Mr. D. A. Bailing until the 
death of the former in March 1914, since 
which date Mr. Bailing has been sole 

The firm are the largest independent 

goods, and a cursory inspection reveals 
a marvellous display of manufactures of 
first-class quality. 

One notices concentric ring springs, 
wagon, Board of Trade regulation and 


mills, brattice cloth, and cast steel hooks 
and eyes. 

One must not overlook Bishop's 
adamant gauge glasses, which will resist 
the highest steam pressure, the greatest 

I. Opzrators' Rbiiiuno Room. a. Excha.soe. 

3. Test Room. 



heat, and all variations of temperature. 
Testimonials as to their superiority over 
all others have been given by the 
Admiralty authorities at the Royal Dock- 
yard, Portsmouth, Messrs. Vickers Sons 
& Maxim, Ltd., and by several com- 
manders and engineers of the leading 
shipping companies of the world. 

Mr. Dalling has the management of 
the business in his own hands, and he 
employs three European assistants and a 
large number of Indian labourers. 



The Bengal Telephone Company, Ltd., 
was formed in the year 1883, with 
registered offices at 7 Council House 
Street, Calcutta. The paid-up capital at 
that time was Rs. 8,80,000, but in 191 1 
this was increased by the issue of new 
shares to Rs. 10,00,000, and, in addi- 
tion, debenture loans amounting to 
Rs. 7,50,000 have been issued. The 
authorized capital was enlarged in 19 14 
to the extent of Rs. 10,00,000, of which 
sum one-half was issued to members of 
the company. The whole of the com- 
pany's plant has been selected with the 
greatest care, and there is nothing of a 
modern character in connection with 
cables, fittings, and other appliances 
which has not been secured, provided it 
is suitable for Indian requirements. The 
service is metallic circuit underground, 
and the efficiency with which it has been 
laid is proved by the fact that the system 
is being largely extended in order to meet 
the ever-increasing demand by residents 
in suburban districts for telephonic con- 
nection with the city. 

In order to illustrate this growth it may 
be said that on June 30, 191 5, there 
were 4,607 exchange and private lines 
in operation, whereas in the year 1901 
the number was only 800. The company 
are holders of a new licence for a period 
of sixty years, which was granted by the 
Government of India on April i, 1903. 
In addition to the very large number 
of installations in private and public 
buildings which have been undertaken by 
the company, it may be added that they 
have also provided and maintain the 
police and fire alarm systems in and 
around Calcutta. 

The directors are Mr. Shirley Tre- 
mearne (chairman), Messrs. S. C. Ber- 
ridge, A. E. Mitchell, and J. B. Saunders. 



These mills, situated at Rishra, near 
Calcutta, of which Birkmyre Brothers, 6 
Clive Row, Calcutta, are the proprietors, 
were established in 1874 by Messrs. 
William and Adam Birkmyre. They had 
owned a small jute works, called the 
Greenock Sacking Company, in Lyndoch 
Street, Greenock, driven by a water 
turbine. Foreseeing the development and 
future importance of the jute manufactur- 
ing industry in Bengal, they decided to 
dismantle the works and transfer their 
entire machinery to Calcutta for re- 
erection on the banks of the Hooghly. 

The machinery of the Greenock Sacking 
Company was therefore installed in the 
buildings prepared at Rishra, and the new 
works were named the Hastings Jute 
Mills from the circumstance of the land 
having formerly belonged to Warren 
Hastings, as evidenced by two leases, 
forming part of the title-deeds, which bear 
his signature and seal in a perfect state 
of preservation. 

Messrs. William and Adam Birkmyre 
associated with them, in the new under- 
taking, their brothers Henry and John, 
and founded in Calcutta, simultaneously 
with the starting of the new jute mills, 
the now well-known firm of Birkmyre 

The Hastings Jute Mills prospered 
from the start. In 1893 the plant had 
been increased to over 500 looms, with 
other machinery in proportion. Electric 
lighting was in that year installed, and 
from 1894 to 1904 the works were run at 
night by artificial light, the average work- 
ing time being about 22 hours per diem. 
It was the first Indian jute mill to have 
electric lighting introduced, and the only 
one that attempted working at night, but 
labour difficulties occurring in 1904 com- 
pelled the cessation of this practice. 

The proprietors of the Hastings Jute 
Mills then proceeded further to enlarge 
the mill and factory, at the same time 
discarding the old steam-power engines, 
replacing them by electric generators 
driven by steam turbines, giving about 
4,000 h.p. There is, at date, a perfectly 
equipped factory of 1,050 looms, with the 
relative preparing, spinning, and finish- 
ing machinery, all electrically driven. 

There is in addition to the manufacture 
of jute, a separate department at Hastings 
Mill for making up all descriptions of 
canvas and waterproof paulins, kit bags, 
and other military equipment, the well- 
known Birkmyre patent waterproof canvas 


being now extensively used by the Indian 
Government for military, postal, and other 

Connected with this department there 
is special machinery for weaving and pre- 
paring the " Hastings " camel-hair and 
cotton-belting, which commands a ready 
and steadily increasing sale throughout 

In the Calcutta office, Messrs. Birkmyre 
Brothers, in addition to managing the 
Hastings Jute Mills, direct jute buying 
agencies in Naraingunge, Sharishabari, 
Northern Bengal, Purnea, and Jessore, for 
the purchase of the raw material for the 
Hastings mills. There are also the canvas 
and belting, the gunny export, and the 
piece goods departments, which have been 
established for some years. Recently 
Messrs. Birkmyre Brothers have given 
their attention to the baling of their 
own marks of jute for export to Dundee 
and the Continent, and they have already 
been successful in introducing these to the 
favourable notice of spinners. 

The telegraphic address of the firm is 
" Birkmyres," Calcutta. 



This firm, which was originally founded 
some sixty years ago by the late Mr. 
Samuel Bird, associated later with his 
brother, Mr. Paul Bird, may justly claim 
to have taken a prominent part in the 
development of local industries on the 
eastern side of India. The present 
partners are Sir Ernest Cable, Mr. W. A. 
Ironside, Mr. B. A. White, Mr. J. Bell- 
Robertson, Mr. H. M. Peat, and Mr. 
H. F. Wheeler. 

For several years after its establish- 
ment the firm's main business was the 
supply of labour, but later, and notably 
since 1885, many other and various enter- 
prises have been progressively taken up 
and pushed until the present time, when 
its management and operations extend to 
the following concerns and businesses : 
Contractors for the supply of labour for 
the loading and unloading of goods at 
docks, railways, and warehouses; control- 
ling agencies of collieries, with an annual 
output of 1,500,000 tons ; controlling 
agencies of jute mills, aggregating 5,981 
looms and 122,021 spindles, with a daily 
output of 450 tons, or 1,500,000 yards; 
jute baling, raw jute exports, manufac- 
tured jute exports, raw hides and skins 
exports and semi-tanned leather exports, 
general produce e.xports, timber import 
and exports, woollen manufacture, metal- 

I. I'oKiioN OF Main Distributing Fkahe. 2, Repair Shop. 

3. Workshop, 


I. Nos. I AND 2. Turbo Generators. 

2. Main Swiichboard. 3- Batching and Preparing. 

4. Weaving Department. 



1. Gbxiral View. 2. Osciu.AtI.xc Tables and Co.screie .Mixer. 3. Crushing Mills. 4. .\rmoured Tubular Flooring (Tube Department). 

5. Reinforced Concrete (Stone Depart.ment). 


I. Crown Woollen Mills. 2- Carding and Weaving Room. 

3. Spinning Room. 




z ^ 






liferous mining, engineering works, elec- 
tric power supply, regenerative coke oven 
and by-product manufacture, pottery, etc., 
manufacture, artificial stone and ferro- 
concrete construction works, sanitary 
engineering, sawmills and veneer timber 
factories, limestone quarries and lime- 
kilns, oil mills, graphite mines, sugar 
factories, insurance company agencies, etc. 


This concern, which is under the control 
of Messrs. Bird & Co., Calcutta, is 
engaged in the manufacture of artificial 
stone floors and floorwork in every form 
of moulded and concrete construction, 
much used in modern Calcutta dwelling- 
houses and mercantile premises. About 
400 hands are employed, and about 
1,000,000 square feet of artificial stone 
flooring alone is laid every year, whilst 
several hundred miles of pavement in 
Calcutta testify to its general and exten- 
sive use. 


This concern is under the control of 
Messrs. Bird & Co., and is at present 
solely engaged upon the manufacture of 
blankets and cloth for military purposes. 


One of the extensive group of mills 
I under the control of Messrs. Bird & Co... 

^p BURN & CO., LTD. 

" This building was the town residence 
of Warren Hastings, Governor-General of 
Fort William in Bengal 1774-85." 

These words are inscribed on a mural 
tablet on the offices of the well-known 
firm of Messrs. Burn & Co., Ltd., in 
Hastings Street, Calcutta, and in 
Blei hynden's work on " Calcutta Past 
and Present " the following paragraph 
occurs : " Mrs. Hastings, whose ' Town 
House,' which she had occupied in earlier 
years as Mrs. Imhoff, was at No. 7 
Hastings Street, where some ancient 
punkahs, quaintly painted in crimson and 
gold, still remain, stranded waifs of the 
itide of fashion which once filled the old 
Ihouse with its flood." 

I The historic residence, seen to-day, 
carries one's thoughts back to the period 
when English and French struggled 
jstrenuously for supremacy in India ; it 
'brings to mind the attack on Calcutta 
made in June 1756 by Suraj-ud-daulah, 

Nawab of Bengal; it throws on the screen 
the tragedy of the " Black Hole," the 
Battle of Plassey in 1757 when Clive 
avenged that disaster; and it also 
directs one's thoughts to the time when 
the firm but wise policy of Hastings con- 
tributed very largely to the ultimate 
peaceful state of the country. Would it 
be drawing too much on the imagination 
to suggest that these associations with a 
period so pregnant with possibilities for 
the future of India have had a stimulating 
effect upon those who have been engaged 
in that very house in the building up of 
the colossal enterprise now controlled by 
Messrs. Burn & Co. ? 

The founder of the business was 
Colonel Archibald Swinton, who, in the 
year 1781, established an iron foundry 
and other works at Howrah, which, at 
that time was a mere settlement on the 
west side of the River Hooghly, imme- 
diately opposite the site which had been 
selected by Job Charnock, about a hun- 
dred years previously, as the place where 
the town of Calcutta should be built. It 
is unfortunate that the early records of 
the progress of the concern are not 
as complete as one would wish, but 
they show that the name of " Burn " 
"appears for the first time in 1799, 
when Mr. Alexander Burn became 
chief partner, with a Mr. Currie as 
his colleague. The business grew at a 
remarkably rapid rate during following 
years, and many changes took place in 
the personnel of the partnership owing 
to death or retirement, but like the 
banyan-tree, which spreads by striking 
fresh roots, so the firm enlarged their 
operations by increasing the number of 
their activities. 

The development of the agricultural 
and industrial resources of India was 
most marked in the early nineties of last 
century ; railways were being projected ; 
rivers had to be bridged ; manufacturers 
required machinery of a more modern 
character ; new ventures had to be fitted 
with up-to-date plant ; and this firm, who 
had already gained a great reputation in 
the world of iron and steel, and deter- 
mining to keep in the van in meeting 
these demands, formed a joint stock 
company in the year 1895. 

The concern with which the company 
is most closely identified is the Howrah 
Ironworks, which comprise the following 
departments : (l) metals, machinery, and 
engineering stores ; (2) ship-yard ; (3) 
forge and smithy ; {4) ^ool and light 
structural iron works ; (5) girder shops ; 


(6) wagon shops ; (7) engine shops ; 
(8) conservancy shop ; (g) general office 
and accounts ; and (10) costs branch. 
In order that an account of the magni- 
tude of the operations of the company 
may be made as intelligible as possible, 
it will perhaps be advisable to refer to 
each of the above ten sections in the 
order in which they are placed above. 

The stores and the yard connected 
therewith claim attention on passing 
through the main entrance, and the first 
thing to be noticed is the extensive floor 
area, which covers 64,800 sq. ft., and 
is devoted entirely to a large stock of 
angle bars, rounds and squares, cast iron 
and lap-welded steel spigot and socket 
pipes, while a covered rack is provided 
for gas and steam pipes and boring tubes. 
A very fine godown on the left-hand side 
of the stores, 220 ft. in length and 90 ft. 
in width, contains portable engines, oil 
engines, pumps, sinking and centrifugal 
pumps, hand pumps in endless variety, 
colliery winding engines of sizes from a 
9-in. diameter cylinder by i8-in. stroke 
up to 20-in. diameter cylinder by 44-in. 
stroke, locomotive and vertical boilers, 
disintegrators, horizontal steam engines, 
saw benches, ice-making machines, 
lathes, pulley blocks, shafting, coupling, 
plumber-blocks, steam fittings, piles, and 
a sundry assortment of other manufac- 
tures too numerous to mention. Hard 
by is the rolled steam beam store-yard, 
measuring 386 ft. by 120 ft., which con- 
tains a stock of about 4,000 tons of joists, 
and adjoining is the store in which plates 
of varying lengths and thicknesses are 
kept. The company have special facili- 
ties for the quick dispatch of goods from 
this section, consisting of an electric 
gantry crane with a clear span of 120 ft., 
which runs the entire length of the yard, 
together with a large number of extra 
strong bullock carts for service between 
the works and railway stations. 

The ship-yard has a frontage upon the 
River Hooghly of 750 ft., and there is 
ample water at high tides for the launch- 
ing of vessels of very considerable 
tonnage, made up of all classes of 
steamers, launches, barges, flats, tugs, 
pontoons, landing stages, wagon ferries, 
and yachts and boats of every descrip- 
tion, in addition to tanks, well curbs, 
caissons, and oil tanks. The machinery, 
which is thoroughly up to date in every 
respect, is fixed in a large shed 325 ft. 
in length and 100 ft. in width, and the 
greater portion of it is driven separately 
by its own engine, although other parts 

Part op av Okdkr pod 500 Jite Wagons built pok the Eastern Bengal State Railwav. 2. Sittino-koom of Broad Galce Saioos Coach built 

rcR H.H. The Maharaja op Ben-ares. 3. Bedroom, Broad Gauge Saloon Carriage uuut por H.H. The Maharaja op Benares. 

4. Frivatx O1M.NQ Saloon (68 ft.), Bkoad Gauge Bogie. Built For H.H. The Maharaja'op Mysore. 


I. IsTtaioR View of Carriage Repair Shop, Eastern Bengal State Railway, Kanchrapaxa. i. Three-track Rah way Bridge, Eastern' Bengal State Railway. 

3. Twin-Screw Passenger Steamer. 4. Paddle Ste.\mer for .Assam. 



are grouped together and derive their 
motive power from a compound hori- 
zontal engine, the steam being obtained 
from four Lancashire boilers. As an 
illustration of the variety of the excellent 
work turned out by the company, men- 
tion may be made of some important con- 
tracts which have been carried out in 
this department in recent years. A large 
dock caisson of exceptionally strong de- 
sign and of heavy scantlings has been 
completed for the Calcutta Port Com- 
missioners to suit the entrance lock of 
the Kidderpore Docks. A pontoon 
280 ft. in length and 40 ft. in width 
and 10 ft. in depth was built for the 
Bengal-Nagpur Railway Company, and 
this was used at first for floating heavy 
bridge girders into position on their 
piers, but after several additions had 
been made it became one of the landing 
stages of that company's wagon ferry at 
Calcutta. Landing stages composed of 
pontoons 10 ft. in width by 5 ft. in depth, 
and varying in length from 40 ft. to 
59 ft., have been built for the Rangoon 
Port Commissioners, and each of the 
stages is connected with the shore by two 
bridges of 150 ft. span and a width of 
12 ft. Messrs. Burn & Co. earned an 
enviable reputation by their construction 
of a number of first-class paddle 
steamers, among which are the Bassein, 
190 ft. in length, 45 ft. in breadth, and 
drawing 8 ft. 2 in. of water ; the Buck- 
land and Howrah (built for the Port 
Commissioners), designed to carry 1,200 
passengers, and specially constructed with 
bow and stern rudders so that they can 
be navigated from either end ; also the 
Barbara and Marjorie, built for the 
Assam Bengal Railway for ferry service 
between Bhairab and Azimgunge. A 
large contract carried out successfully for 
the Burma Railway Company was for the 
building of the Henzada Wagon Ferry, 
which comprised four barges, two landing 
stages, and two pontoon bridges, together 
with all the shore connections, trolley 
girders, and other adjuncts for uniting 
the railway lines to the stages. 

The stages and barges within a period 
of twelve months were built, launched, 
and towed by tug to Rangoon and suc- 
cessfully installed at Henzada, a distance 
of more than 800 miles. Other, large 
wagon ferries have since been designed 
and constructed. These include standard 
and metre gauge ferries for the Eastern 
Bengal Railway, metre gauge ferry for the 
Assam Bengal Railway, 2 ft. 6 in. gauge 
ferry for the North-Western Railway. 

There are very large tracts of land 
in Eastern Bengal and Assam yielding 
crops of jute, tea, and other produce 
which are many miles distant from any 
railway, and whose sole means of com- 
munication with the outer world is by 
means of numerous rivers and canals. 
Here, again, Messrs. Burn & Co. led the 
way in constructing steamers, barges, and 
flats for transport purposes, cargo flats, 
varying in length from 130 ft. to 200 ft., 
being towed by specially constructed 
twin-screw steamers along the numerous 
waterways and creeks. A special feature, 
too, is made of strongly built steam 
launches, in which Government officials 
occasionally spend some weeks when their 
duties call them into outlying districts, 
and of harbour tugs, which may be seen 
in nearly all Indian ports. It will be 
understood that, with the immense 
number of sea-going vessels which call 
at Calcutta, there must necessarily be 
repairs of all kinds to be effected, and 
Messrs Burn & Co. have been entrusted 
with a large number of important con- 
tracts in this line. Among these which 
have been successfully carried out were 
the repairing of the bow of the P. & O. 
steamer Somali, which was seriously 
damaged in collision with the s.s. Delta 
at Colombo. 

Leaving the ship-yard we enter the 
forge and smithy. The building contain- 
ing the forge and smithy is 460 ft. in 
length and 182 ft. in width, and it com- 
prises more than a hundred smiths' 
hearths, forge, oil and coke furnaces, 
plate and angle furnaces, steam hammers 
of all sizes up to 25 cwt., Pilkington's 
pneumatic and hydraulic hammers, 
batteries of Bretts' drop stamps 
ranging from 7 to 30 cwt., a 15 cwt. 
Massey stamp, power trimming and 
hydraulic presses, hot saw tyre benders, 
steam strikers, and welding and other 
machines. Great attention has been paid 
in recent years to railway wagon forgings, 
and the smithy can now turn out 1,200 
sets of these in a year. In this branch 
there is an almost endless variety of 
forgings for ship, engine, railway, army 
transport, commissariat, contractors, and 
irrigation work, boring tools, gates, rail- 
ways, tree guards, doors, windows, light- 
ning conductors, and other necessaries in 
constructional or building enterprises. 

The roof and light structural depart- 
ment is in a building measuring 100 ft. 
in length and 600 ft. in width, and it is 
equipped with radial drills, saws, shears, 
and all other requisite plant and tools 


for securing well finished work. Messrs. 
Burn & Co. can point with some pride to 
several most important structures which 
have been erected by them in various 
parts of India, but mention need only be 
made of eleven roofs for the Ischapore 
rifle factory, the platform roofs for the 
remodelling of the Delhi railway station, 
the Manipur Durbar hall, and the 
immense roof over the Gautama, a 
reclining figure sacred to the Burmese 
at Pegu in Burma. Tanks for water- 
works and oil installations have been 
erected for the Umballa, Howrah, 
Bhandra, Benares, and Amritsar water- 
works ; and oil storage tanks (with a 
capacity of more than four million 
gallons) for the Standard Oil Company 
and the Burma Oil Company at their 
Budge Budge depots. 

The girder shops, which compare most 
favourably with similar ones in Great 
Britain or America, have a covered area 
of more than two acres, and here the 
visitor may observe a constant supply of 
raw material being landed from boats on 
the river, while there is at the other end 
of the buildings a never-ceasing output 
of finished constructional work which is 
being loaded into railway trucks for dis- 
patch to all parts of India. Powerful 
cranes remove steel plates and bars from 
country boats and place them at the 
various machines. The three principal 
shops have twelve lo-ton electric cranes, 
radial drills, hydraulic portable riveters, 
cold saws, plate-edge planers, butting 
machines, and machines for notching ends 
of joists to fit into each other. The firm 
is in a position to deal with inquiries of 
any nature, and to give expert technical 
advice on the building of bridges 
spanning 6 ft. to 450 ft. The 
Diroontah suspension bridge may be 
mentioned to illustrate the difficult prob- 
lems which have at times to be faced. 
This was the first steel rope suspension 
bridge to be erected in .Afghanistan, and 
it spans the Kabul River at the mouth 
of the Diroontah Gorge, about seven miles 
distant from Jellalabad. This structure 
has a span of 306 ft., and as it is 10 ft. 
in width between the centres of the towers 
and the roadway it is suitable for light 
cart traffic. Other recent contracts for 
constructional work at Howrah include 
the Ganges Mill, 974 ft. in length, con- 
sisting of 3,000 tons of material ; the 
East Indian Railway's riverside ware- 
house, 650 ft. in length, with 3,000 tons ; 
the Buckland Bridge, Howrah, East 
Indian Railway, having spans of 75 ft.. 


with 2,500 tons ; together with truss 
bridges, carriage and wagon shops, piers, 
boiler shops, steel tube syphons, and 
foundry sheds and other work of a 
similar description. 

The wagon shops have lately been re- 
modelled, and now consist of a machine 
shop capable of dealing with a large 
number of complete sets of wagon 
materials per month, an underframe erec- 
tion shop connected up to the machine 
shop by overhead electric cranes, a panel 
shop where all plate work is dealt with, 
and the wagon erection and riveting 
shop, painting shop, and finishing and 
inspection shop. The carriage shops are 
arranged in close proximity to the wagon 
department, and consist of a wood- 
machining shop, all the machines being 
electrically driven ; alongside the 
machine shop is the finishing shop, 
where all work is completed on the 
separate parts before they are assembled. 

The carriage erection shop contains 
space for twenty standard gauge coaches 
to be laid down at once. An electrically 
worked traverser is used for removing 
the coaches from the erecting shop to the 
painting and varnishing shop. 

The output of the wagon departments 
consists mainly of standard gauge wagons 
for the State and company-owned lines. 
In the carriage shops besides work for 
State and company-owned lines very well 
equipped private saloons have been de- 
signed and built for the Maharaja of 
Mysore, Maharaja of Rewah, and the 
Maharaja of Benares. 

From the wagon shops the visitor is 
conducted to the engine shops. These 
include the iron and brass foundries, 
pattern shops, smithy, turning and fitting 
shops. The iron foundry has three sepa- 
rate moulding shops, and here one sees a 
general class of work going through, 
such as bed-plates for winding engines, 
road rollers (5 tons in weight), engine 
cylinders, rope and bell pulleys, orna- 
mental railings, water and steam pipes, 
and rainwater gutters. The brass 
foundry is a brick building fitted with 
all necessary tools for moulding engine 
and wagon bearing brasses, hydraulic ram 
plungers, pump valves, and other sun- 
dries. The smithy for engine shop work 
is equipped with steam hammers, forging 
furnaces, hydraulic presses and other 
machinery. Castings and forgings are 
received at the western end of the new 
engine shops, and after they have been 
marked off they are passed through the 
various machines towards the eastern end. 

where the fitting department resolves 
them into jute presses, winding engines, 
mill gearing, and other plant. A wing 
extends along the northern side of the 
shops, and this is divided on the ground 
floor into brass stores, tool-making shop, 
and offices for foremen. Thesei shops 
cover an area of 52,000 sq. ft., and 
are the finest and most up to date of 
their kind in India. 

The conservancy branch deals solely 
with the manufacture of sanitary and 
municipal requirements, and it is respon- 
sible for the output of a very large 
number of carts for night-soil, water, 
refuse, and other purposes, incinerators, 
and latrine and other fittings. 

The general office is the oldest struc- 
ture in the works, and many years ago 
it was occupied as a bungalow by some 
of the partners. Drawing and costs 
offices have been erected round the above 
bungalow, the whole block now cover- 
ing an area of 1,480 sq. ft. The 
drawing office is divided into four main 
sections, namely, structural, mechanical, 
shipbuilding, and railways, and each of 
these sections is primarily controlled by 
a manager, who is also in charge of the 
shops to which the particular work 
belongs. There are about 25 European 
and more than 60 Indian expert draughts- 
men who have specialized in their several 
departments, while the accounts office 
employs 2 Europeans and nearly 60 
Indians. It will be seen from the above 
notes that Messrs. Burn & Co. are 
thorough masters of every detail of work 
undertaken in the Howrah Works, and are 
as well prepared to supply a steamer) 
a bridge, or a warehouse, as to hand 
to a purchaser a steel nut or rivet. 

A reference to another section in this 
volume contains an account of the 
famous Raneegunge Pottery Works, 
owned by Messrs. Burn & Co., which are 
the most important of their kind in the 


The practice of securing a Royal 
Charter on the establishment of banking 
businesses was quite a common event in 
the days when financial institutions of im- 
portance were rapidly coming into exist- 
ence, and a certain amount of definite 
control of the management of their 
internal affairs gave confidence to 
investors and clients generally. 

The Chartered Bank now under notice 

obtained Royal assent upon its founda- 
tion in the year 1853, and its head- 
quarters were at that time situated in 
Hatton Court, London. The original 
prospectus stated that the bank was 
" established chiefly in order to extend 
the legitimate facilities of banking to the 
vast and rapidly extending trade between 
the Australian colonies, British East 
India, China, and other parts of the 
Eastern .Archipelago, a field at present 
wholly unoccupied by any similar insti- 
tution. The objects of the company will, 
however, also embrace in connection 
therewith the extension of banking 
accommodation to the direct trade of 
British India, China, and Australia with 
this country (England), at present so 
inadequately provided for." The pro- 
moters regarded this as " an ambitious 
programme," but it may be observed that, 
with the exception of the three Presidency 
banks, there were then only three other 
similar institutions in India, namely, the 
Commercial Bank of Bombay, the 
Oriental Bank Corporation, and the 
Agra and United Services Bank. 

Initial difficulties were experienced by 
the Chartered Bank, partly owing to 
certain exacting conditions in the Charter, 
and in part with regard to the subscrip- 
tion of the necessary capital, but actual 
business was commenced in 1857, and 
in the same year offices were opened in 
Calcutta, Bombay, and Shanghai. 

The early history of the bank is a 
record of unexampled prosperity, and 
other branches in various parts of the 
world were established in order to cope 
with the rapid advancement made in those 
days. These places include Amritsar, 
Bangkok, Batavia, Canton, Cebu, 
Colombo, Delhi, Foochow, Haiphong, 
Hankow, Hongkong, Ilo-ilo, Ipoh, and 
Klang (in the Federated Malay States), 
Karachi, Kobe, Kuala Lumpur, Madras, 
Malacca, Manila, Medan (Sumatra), New 
York, Penang, Puket, Rangoon, Saigon, 
Seremban (Federated Malay States), 
Singapore, Sourabaya, Taiping, Tientsin, 
and Yokohama. It will be seen from this 
list that India, China, the Straits, Siam, 
the Dutch East Indies, and Japan are 
brought within the sphere of the bank's 
operations, and as each new agency has 
been formed a considerable growth in 
business has been the result. 

Banking experiences in India have not 
by any means been a bed of roses, as 
there have been financial crises which 
brought about the downfall of many 
institutions which had hitherto borne an 


The Caicoita Aoency. 



unquestionable reputation for stability. 
One might mention the financial up- 
heaval between the years 1865 and 1866 
which caused six Calcutta banks to close 
their doors. In this disastrous period 
the Chartered Bank weathered the storm, 
although the whole of its reserve fund 
was swept away during the next few 
years. The depreciation in silver which 
occurred about the year 1869 was even 
more serious in several aspects, as un- 
debased coinage in several countries was 
reduced in value by 30 or 40 per cent. 

Mr. John Howard Gwyther became 
mrinager of the Chartered Bank in 1870, 
and by the exercise of strict economy 
he succeeded in paying a fair dividend 
two years later, and in establishing a 
substantial reserve fund on a new basis. 
The latter was built up out of profits, 
and not by means of premiums on new 
issues, a practice which was very largely 
indulged in by other financial institutions. 

The directors exercised the greatest 
caution during these troublous times, and 
they limited all dividends to 8 per cent, 
until the reserve had reached an amount 
equivalent to half of the paid-up capital, 
and even 10 per cent, was not paid until 
the capital was equalled by the reserve. 
Periodical balance sheets show that re- 
turning prosperity has been gradual but 
sure ; earnings have been increasing year 
by year ; and so secure are the founda- 
tions upon which the bank constructed 
its business that it occupies at the present 
time a most honourable position among 
the leading financial institutions of the 

A report of the directors and state- 
ments of accounts were presented at the 
sixty-first ordinary general meeting of 
shareholders held on March 31, 191 5, and 
the following particulars have been ex- 
tracted therefrom :^ 

The net profit, after providing for bad 
and doubtful debts, was £492,333, inclu- 
sive of £120,253 brought forward from 
the previous year. An interim dividend 
at the rate of 12 per cent, per annum, 
paid in the previous September, absorbed 
£72,000 ; £24,000 had been appro- 
priated as a bonus to the stafi^ ; and the 
directors proposed to deal with the 
available balance of £396,333 as follows : 
To pay a final dividend at the rate of 
16 per cent, per annum (making 14 per 
cent, for the year), to place £150,000 to 
a special fund to meet contingencies, to 
write off premises account the sum of 
£25,000, and to carry forward an amount 
of £125,333. The report was adopted 

unanimously, and the proposals of the 
directors were concurred in heartily. 

The paid-up capital of £1,200,000 con- 
sists of 60,000 shares of £20 each, the 
reserve fund stands at £1,800,000, and 
the reserve liability account of the pro- 
prietors amounts to £1,200,000. 

Fixed deposits are received by the bank 
for twelve months, or shorter periods, 
upon terms which may be ascertained on 
application at any of the offices. Drafts 
are granted payable at any of the agencies 
or branches, approved bills of exchange 
are purchased or are received for col- 
lection, letters of credit are issued, and 
Indian Government and other securities 
are bought or held in safe custody. 

The London offices were some time ago 
found to be much too small, and a re- 
markably fine building was erected on 
the site of the once famous Crosby Hall, 
38 Bishopsgate, E.C. It is situated in 
the centre of a large number of the lead- 
ing banking houses of the metropolis, and 
it is not less pleasing in its general 
appearance or less commodious in its 
internal arrangements than those by 
which it is surrounded. It is in the 
Italian Renaissance style of architecture, 
and the Corinthian pilasters above the 
ground floor form a distinctive feature of 
its design, while the Avhole of the frontage 
is built in Portland stone with a base of 
Aberdeen granite. The banking hall is 
lofty and not less than 23 ft. in height, 
while an abundance of light is obtained 
from windows of exceptional size. This 
room measures 56 by 68 ft., the walls are 
of white marble relieved by columns and 
pilasters of Pavanazzo ■ marble, and the 
dado consists of Vertantico marble with 
a black marble plinth. The security of 
bullion and documents is assured in the 
strong-room, which is not excelled by 
any other in London. Within this 
chamber is the " inner treasury," which 
is said by experts to be proof against 
any efforts of the modern burglar in the 
space of time that could be gained by 
him for his adventurous attack. The 
twentieth-century marauder makes use of 
oxy-acetylene plant for forcing his way 
through doors and walls, but it has been 
proved by the makers of this powerful 
apparatus that " intersected " steel 
(which has been used in the treasury 
chamber) is able to resist the severest 
forms in which midnight visitors prose- 
cute their dangerous avocations. 

The Chartered Bank building in Clive 
Street, Calcutta, is one of the most im- 
posing structures in the East. It domi- 


nates the principal business quarter of 
the city, being immediately opposite the 
Royal Exchange. 

The bankers of the company are the 
Bank of England, the London, City, and 
Midland Bank, Ltd., the London County 
and Westminster Bank, Ltd., the National 
Provincial Bank of England, Ltd., and 
the National Bank of Scotland, Ltd. 
Corresponding agents have been ap- 
pointed as follows : The Bank of Austra- 
lasia, the Bank of New South Wales, the 
Bank of Victoria, Ltd., the Colonial Bank 
of Australasia, Ltd., the Commercial Bank 
of Australia, Ltd., the Commercial Bank- 
ing Company of Sydney, Ltd., the Eng- 
lish, Scottish, and Australian Bank, Ltd., 
the London Bank of Australia, Ltd., the 
Union Bank of Australia, Ltd., the Bank 
of New Zealand, and the National Bank 
of New Zealand, Ltd. 

The court of directors is composed of 
Sir Montagu Cornish Turner (chairman), 
Sir Henry S. Cunningham, K.C.I.E., 
Mr. Thomas Cuthbertson, Sir Henry 
Dent, K.C.M.G., Mr. William Henry 
Neville Goschen, the Right Hon. Lord 
George Hamilton, G.C.S.I., Mr. William 
Foot Mitchell, and Mr. Lewis Alexander 
Wallace. Messrs. T. H. Whitehead and 
T. Fraser are joint general managers, 
and Mr. H. Harris is the agent of the 
Calcutta branch. 


Calcutta is not overburdened with first- 
class residential hotels, but there is a con- 
sensus of opinion that the premier city in 
India is fortunate indeed in having such 
an extremely comfortable and well-ap- 
pointed one as the " Continental," which 
is situated in one of the best positions in 
Chowringhee, the leading thoroughfare in 
the city. 

It has a very extensive frontage ,upon 
the maidan, a fine open space of nearly 
3,000 acres of grass land beautifully tim- 
bered with magnificent old trees, and from 
its front windows excellent views are 
obtained of Government House, of the 
Curzon Gardens, of a portion of the 
Esplanade, of Fort William with its 
bastions and mounted guns, of the 
" Rotten Row " of Calcutta, of the charm- 
ing Eden Gardens (where an efficient 
band plays nightly), while a long stretch 
of the River Hooghly with its incessant 
flotilla of merchant and passenger 
steamers and native craft of all descrip- 
tions is plainly visible. 

The " Continental " practically adjoins 



the principal theatres and picture houses, 
and carriages, cabs and taxis may be en- 
gaged on the stand immediately opposite 
the chief entrance. 

The hotel, established in the year 1874 
by Mr. F. Boscolo, was recently purchased 
by Mr. Makertich John, and during the 
short period of his tenure he has caused 
the house to be widely known throughout 
the East as one in which the owner's 
personal supervision and thoroughly 
practical experience are constantly being 

ever, does not come in the category of 
those failures; Mr. Makertich John is an 
ideal host, the comfort of his visitors is his 
first consideration, and he is astute enough 
to know that the most reputable purveyors 
and the best servants are in constant need 
of the keenest watchfulness. 

The hotel has accommodation for 1 40 
guests, and all the rooms are elegantly 
furnished with modern appointments, in- 
cluding electric lighting and fans. Special 
mention should be made of a very large 

It is worthy of note that the immense 
frontage of the building has enabled the 
architect to arrange for a very large 
number of the bedrooms to have a full 
view of the maidan and other places of 
interest which have already been men- 
tioned, and each of these rooms is pro- 
vided with an electric bell, and has a 
separate bathroom, which is fitted with 
complete sanitary appliances. 

Hotel runners meet all trains and 
steamers and visitors are attended to by 



2. The CAFt Royal. 

manifested in order to secure the entire 
approval of his numerous patrons. 

It is a common experience of travellers 
in all parts of the world that railway and 
other guide books frequently refer to 
certain hotels as being unparalleled for 
comfort, cleanliness, exceptional cuisine, 
and civility of servants, while the prac- 
tical experience of visitors goes to show 
that in the majority of instances these 
much-belauded houses do not offer any 
entertainment which can by a liberal 
stretch of the imagination be said to coin- 
cide with the rosy descriptions given of 

The " Continental " at Calcutta, how- 

drawing-room, an upstairs dining-room 
for permanent residents, another one on 
the ground floor for casual visitors (these 
having seating room for a hundred and 
fifty and a hundred guests respectively), 
a commodious lounge suitable for re- 
ceptions, public and private bars, and a 
billiard-room with two Burroughes and 
Watts tables. 

Excellent arrangements are made for 
catering in a thoroughly up-to-date 
manner for picnic and wedding-parties. 
Lodge dinners, and banquets, while the 
" Continental " mid-day lunches are very 
rightly considered to be unsurpassed in 


a large staff of well-trained servants, who 
are most assiduous in their attentions. 


It is not more than seven years since 
the firm of Messrs. Crawford & Co., 
general merchants, engineers, contractors, 
and stevedores, was established by Mr. 
A. F. Newell in Calcutta, but they have 
already become widely known on account 
of the large variety of the machinery, 
implements, hardware, and other goods 
supplied by them, which for sterling 
quality and reasonable prices cannot 
easily be excelled. The principal offices 





of the firm are in Clive Buildings, Clive 
Street, and very commodious godovvns 
have been secured at No. 87A in the 
same street. 

Contracts are undertaken for tlie 
building of steam launches, tugs, and 
barges, and most favourable quotations. 
may always be depended upon for struc- 
tural steel and ironwork of every descrip- 
tion. Messrs. Crawford & Co. are sole 
agents for Messrs. James & John G. 
Scott, paint manufacturers, Glasgow ; 
Messrs. Loudon Brothers, Ltd., makers 
of engines, boilers, and machine tools ; 
Messrs. John Ferguson & Sons, manu- 

Such a list should include traction, 
portable, horizontal, and other engines, 
bridges, cranes, Lancashire and vertical 
boilers, jute presses, steam excavators, 
iron fencing, hydraulic jacks, drilling 
machines, saw benches, sugar, rice, and 
flour mills, pontoons, steam and petrol 
pumps, manila, coir, and wire ropes, 
shafting, wrought iron tanks, weighing 
machines, winches, paulins, canvas, sail- 
cloth, and numerous other sundries. 

A word or two might perhaps be added 
with regard to the firm's agency for 
" Crown " brand paints of brilliant and 
permanent shades, which are suitable for 



facturers of painting brushes ; Messrs. 
Binks Brothers, London, wire rope manu- 
facturers ; Messrs. Hamilton & Co., 
Chemical Works, Glasgow ; Messrs. J. 
and R. Wilson & Co., Ship Stores and 
Export Merchants, London ; and the 
British Anti-Fouling Composition and 
Paint Company, Ltd. The firm have 
recently secured the sole agency for 
Bengal and surrounding territory of the 
Indian Government Turpentine and Rosin 
Distillery, Bhowali, and hold large stocks 
of their manufactures in Calcutta. It 
would be impossible to specify even a 
thousandth part of the hardware and 
other goods which may be obtained from 
this firm, but reference may be made to 
some which are in constant demand in 
agricultural, shipping, and commercial 
centres in India. 

steamers, bridges, railways, and iron and 
wooden buildings. The " Corona " dis- 
temper paint, too, is a most effective and 
durable preparation for any class of work, 
and it is guaranteed that it will not blister 
or peel off, even though brought into con- 
tact with lime. 

All work undertaken by the firm is 
entrusted only to fully qualified artisans, 
and Mr. Newell gives strict personal 
attention to the requirements of cus- 

Gunny bags, Hessian cloth, and other 
Indian produce are among the principal 
exports, and consignees may always rely 
upon the most favourable rates being 
obtained for the shipment of their goods. 



The use of bones for fertilizing soils 
has now become almost universal, and 
there is scarcely a single crop of cereals 
or legumes which does not derive very 
considerable benefit from a liberal dress- 
ing of this manure. 

The Bengal Bone Mills, which is a 
private concern, was founded in Calcutta 
in 1897 by Messrs. S. Curlender & Co., 
who are the sole proprietors and who 
personally manage the works. 

There are two separate mills with up- 
to-date steam-driven machinery They 
stand upon the bank of the company's 
waterway, which is an outlet from the 
Belliaghatta Circular Canal. One mill 
is used entirely for steamed and steril- 
ized bone meal which is shipped chiefly to 
New Zealand and Japan, while the other 
is used for crushed bones and unsteamed 
bone meal. The crushed bones are 
shipped to Europe and America for manu- 
facturing purposes, and the bone meal 
is used for manuring soils. The monthly 
output of the mills is now about 1,500 
tons of crushed bones and 750 tons of 
meal, and constant employment is found 
for some three hundred hands. 



Electricity as a means for lighting and 
other purposes was practically unknown 
in India up to about twenty years ago 
when the well-known firm in England of 
Messrs. Crompton & Co., Ltd., estab- 
lished a business in Calcutta which has 
been instrumental in fitting up many 
electric installations, plant, and other 
appliances in the principal cities in the 
country. They were the first to intro- 
duce hydro-electric alternating plant, and 
to commence the lighting of jute and 
other mills by electricity ; they inaugu- 
rated in India the present type of ceiling 
fan ; and, without unnecessarily prolong- 
ing this list, it may, in a word, be said 
that Messrs. Crompton & Co. were 
pioneers with regard to electricty in this 
continent. Inhabitants of cities and towns 
clamoured for the new brilliant illuminant 
to supersede the gas and oil which had 
served them for so long in their streets 
and dwelling houses ; factories required 
an improved light at looms and benches ; 
and manufacturers recognized the fact 
that the cumbrous and old-fashioned 
machinery then in use could — with ad- 
vantage to themselves — be replaced by 
electrically driven plant of more modern 
designs. Numerous contracts were taken 


I. Typical Generating Plant for Lighting, Traction, and Power Purposes. 2. Tvi'ical Generating Plant ior Lighting, Traction, and Power Purposes. 

3. TvpicAL Central Station Switchboard. 4, Motors for Driving Rice-hulling and Polishing Machines introduced by Crompton & Co., Ltd. 



in hand by the firm, and among the 
earlier ones were the electrification of 
Calcutta, Madrar., Nagpur, Karachi, and 
Cawnpore, while they are now (19 '6) en- 
gaged upon similar works at Lucknow, 
Allahabad, and Agra. It is deserving 
of notice that the hydro-electric alter- 
nating plant which was put down by 
Messrs. Crompton & Co. at Darjeeling 
in the year 1903 has been in continuous 
work ever since. 

Among other important enterprises 

manufactured at their workshops at 
Chelmsford in Essex, England. The 
premises of the firm at 6 and 7 Clive 
Street, Calcutta, have been occupied by 
them since the year 1910, and here they 
have a large staff of competent Euro- 
pean engineers and Indian mistries. 
Other branches have been established at 
Bombay and Madras, but agencies have 
been opened in every part of the world. 
The head offices are at Salisbury House, 
London Wall, E.G. 

was established in the year 1900 by Mr. 
R. A. Dickie, who commenced business 
as an importer of hardware, milling plant, 
and ironware of every description, but the 
most important branch to-day is the sole 
agency held for Messrs. BuUivant & Co., 
Ltd., of London, who are recognized 
throughout the world as the leading 
marine engineers and makers of wire 
ropes. This noted company are inventors 
and manufacturers of flexible steel wire 
ropes for ships' hawsers, cables, running 


I. Head Ofuce. 

which have been successfully completed 
are : the electrification of Government 
rifle and ammunition factories at Isha- 
pore and Dum Dum respectively, of 
several Hindu temples, of the Bengal Iron 
and Steel works at Kulti, in the district of 
Burdwan, of a completed plant at the 
Government gun and shell factory at 
Cossipore, of arc lamps on the Howrah 
bridge, and of the principal theatres in 
Calcutta. The firm have extensive go- 
downs in which all kinds of machinery 
and accessories are stored, and, in fact, 
they keep on hand spare parts of every- 
thing connected with electric plant which 
may possibly be needed, all of which are 



Messrs. Crompton & Co. are con- 
tractors to the Calcutta Electric Supply 
Corporation, the Karachi Electric Supply 
Corporation, Ltd., the Madras Electric 
Supply Corporation, Ltd., and the Nag- 
pur Electric Light and Power Com- 
pany, Ltd. 

The managing agents in Calcutta are 
Messrs. Martin & Co., 6 and 7 Clivc 
Street, and Mr. W. Bent, A.M.I.M.E., 
A.M.I.E.E., is manager. 


This firm, whose headquarters are at 
Canning House, Clive Street, Calcutta, 

J 02 

and salvage ropes, cranes, lifts, hoists,, 
derricks, collieries, suspension bridges, 
cable tramways, and aerial ropeways, and 
they are also makers of blocks, pulleys,, 
crab-winches, and wire rope cutting and 
other machineries. Bullivant's system of 
protecting vessels from the attack of 
torpedoes was invented and patented by 
this company, and they are, further, con- 
tractors to the Admiralty, the War and 
India Offices in London, the Crown 
Agents for the Colonies, and other British 
and foreign Government departments. 
Several of the largest vessels afloat, in- 
cluding H.M.S. Thunderer and the White- 
Star liner Olympic, have been launched 



by Bullivant's ropes; and among many 
gigantic undertakings carried out by that 
firm the following may be mentioned : the 
dry dock " Dewey " was towed by means 
of this company's hawsers from Baltimore 
to the Philippine Islands; the successful 
salving of H.M.S. Gladiator in the Solent 
in igo8 was attributed mainly to the 
excellent quality of their galvanized extra 
flexible steel wire ropes; and the dredger 
Octopus was raised after being sunk near 

Messrs. Dickie & Co. are, further, sole 
agents for Messrs. Campbell, Achnach & 
Co., of the " Thistle " Rubber Works, 
Glasgow, who are manufacturers of sheet 
rubber asbestos packings, rubber inser- 
tions, and jointings, and a large stock 
of these and other goods of a similar 
character is always kept on hand. 

" Victor " motor cycles, tyres, and 
other accessories are always procurable, 
and regular shipments from England 
enable the firm to compete on favourable 
terms with any other garage and repair- 
ing and outfitting shops in Calcutta. 

Messrs. Dickie & Co. have extensive 
business connections with practically 
every engineering and milling company 
in Eastern Bengal, and in further pur- 
suance of their increasing trade they have 
recently opened a branch establishment 
at 58 West Regent Street, Glasgow. 

The present managing proprietor is Mr. 
H. Ilartopp. 


This company was formed and. regis- 
tered in Scotland in the year 1883, for 
the purpose of carrying on the business of 
managing agents of jute mills in India. 
At the present time it has under its con- 
trol all the mills — seven in number — 
belonging to the Samnuggur Jute Factory 
Company, Ltd., the Titaghur Jute Fac- 
tory Company, Ltd., and the Victoria 
Jute Company, Ltd. 

The process of manufacture is practic- 
ally identical in all the mills belonging 
to these companies, the raw material, 
which is chiefly obtained from Eastern 
Bengal, being brought down by boat or 
rail to the mills, where, after a careful 
process, it emerges in the shape of Hes- 
sian cloth, bags, and sacking goods. The 
produce is sent to all parts of the world, 
and at the present time very large 
quantities of British, French, and Russian 
bags are being turned out by these mills 
and delivered to the order of the British 
Government at a material discount on 


current market rates. The average out- 
put from the mills of the above three 
concerns is over 10,000 tons per month. 
Thoroughly up-to-date machinery has 
been installed in the mills, and some idea 
of the magnitude of these industrial con- 
cerns may be gathered from the fact that 
the monthly consumption of coal in the 
three mills is between 9,000 and 10,000 
tons, and that more than 100 European 
and 31,000 native labourers are employed 
constantly. Each mill has its own private 
railway siding and its own steam-launch 
and fleet of boats for transport purposes, 
the latter being used for conveying the 
manufactured goods to ocean - going 
steamers at Calcutta. 

The managing agents pay careful atten- 
tion to the welfare of tlieir employees, 
each mill being provided with a dis- 
pensary in charge of Indian medical 
officers, together with quarters for 
workers, with efficient sanitary arrange- 
ments, including a filtered water supply. 

Each mill is within the limits of a 
municipality, and the children within the 
several areas receive free instruction in 
the primary schools. 

The Samnuggur Company own three 
mills, two of which are on the left bank 
and one on the right bank of the River 
Hooghly, about 21 miles from Calcutta, 
and containing altogether 1,572 looms. 

The company held its Forty-third 
Annual Ordinary General Meeting of 
Shareholders on March 16, 19 16, when 
the report of the directors and statement 
of accounts were presented. The directors 
reported that the year ending December 
3 1, 19 1 5, opened with a healthy demand 
for all classes of goods, and orders con- 
tinued plentiful. Although the average 
price per ton of the manufactured article 
was under the average of the preceding 
three years, the results were much in 
excess of any previous year, this being 
due chiefly to favourable purchases of the 
raw material, of which the company hold 
large stocks at cost prices considerably 
lower than current market values. 

The capital consists of £300,000 in 
ordinary shares of £10, each fully paid, 
and £150,000 in 5 per cent, cumulative 
preference shares of £10, each fully paid. 
The profit for the year, including a credit 
balance brought forward from the pre- 
vious 12 months, was £313,753. After 
placing £45,000 to the Reserve Fund, 
£30,683 towards depreciation on plant, 
£100,000 to .Suspense Account to meet 
contingencies, writing off £2,818 for 
special replacements, and the payment of 


a dividend at the rate of 30 per cent, on 
the ordinary shares and 5 per cent, on 
preference shares for the year, a balance 
of £37,752 was carried forward. 

The Titaghur Company own two large 
mills situated at Titaghur, about 14 miles 
from Calcutta, and containing altogether 
1,718 looms. This company held its 
Thirty-third Annual Ordinary General 
Meeting of Shareholders on March 16, 
19 1 6, when the directors' report was sub- 
mitted in terms similar to that of 
Samnuggur above detailed. 

The capital consists of £300,000 in 
ordinary shares of £10, each fully paid, 
and £150,000 in 5 per cent, cumulative 
preference shares of £10, each fully paid. 
The profit for the year, including a credit 
balance brought forward, was £340,575. 
After placing £30,000 to depreciation on 
plant, £50,000 to Reserve Fund, and 
£100,000 to Suspense Account to meet 
contingencies, writing off £770 for 
special replacements, and the payment of 
a dividend at the rate of 30 per cent, on 
the ordinary shares and 5 per cent, on 
the preference shares for the year, a 
balance of £52,305 was carried forward. 

The Victoria Company own two mills, 
situated at Telinipara, about 21 miles 
from Calcutta, and containing altogether 
1,053 looms. The Thirty-third Annual 
Ordinary General Meeting of the Share- 
holders was held on March 17, 191 6, 
when the directors' report and statement 
of accounts were presented. 

The capital of the company consists of 
£200,000 in ordinary shares of £10, each 
fully paid, and £150,000 in 5 per cent, 
cumulative preference shares of £10, each 
fully paid. The statement of accounts 
showed a balance at credit of Profit and 
Loss of £205,181. After writing off 
£323 from Steam Launch and Boats 
Accounts, and placing £20,000 to Depre- 
ciation Account and Reserve Fund respec- 
tively, and paying a dividend of 30 per 
cent, on the ordinary shares and 5 per 
cent, on preference shares, a balance of 
£97.357 was carried forward. 

From the foregoing particulars it will 
be seen that these companies, in common 
with other jute concerns, are enjoying the 
benefits of increasing and more profitable 
trade returns between India and other 
parts of the world. 


Travelling in the days of our grand- 
parents was a very different matter from 
taking a journey almost at the close of 

I. Prbparing Department 2. Shixxixg Department. 3. Factory Department. 

4. Sewino Department. 


I. Exterior. 


2. Solid Tire Press. 3. maix Motor-tvre Godowx. 



the second decade of the twentieth cen- 
tury. It is perfectly safe to say that 
those aiKestors possessed the same 
characteristic which is found to-day in the 
well-balanced minds of practically all 
individuals of the civilized world, namely, 
a desire for as much comfort as possible, 
but they had fewer facilities, and scarcely 
any of the luxuries which are now asso- 
ciated with trips by land or sea. The 
lumbering old mail or family coaches 
which were objects of the special atten- 
tion of intrepid knights of the road, gave 
place to lighter-made vehicles of various 
descriptions, but even these conveyances 
were wonderfully improved about the 
'eighties of last century by the fixing of 
india-rubber tyres on wood or iron wheels. 
The days of rough jolting over badly con- 
structed thoroughfares came to an end, and 
the credit for perfecting, manufacturing, 
and inaugurating the use of pneumatic 
tyres for nearly every kind of vehicle is 
due to the Dunlop Rubber Company, Ltd. 

The registered offices of the company 
arc at 150 and 152 Clerkenwell Road, 
London, E.C., their works are at the 
Para Mills, Aston Cross, and Manor 
Mills, Salford Street, Aston, both in 
Birmingham, and at Alma Street, Coven- 
try; and they have branch depots at 
Nottingham, Manchester, Newcastle-on- 
Tyne, Glasgow, Dublin, Belfast, Bristol, 
Leeds, Norwich, and Liverpool. The head 
offices in India are at Bombay, while 
braiKh depots have been opened at Cal- 
cutta, Delhi, Madras, and Colombo, in 

The company are manufacturers of 
pneumatic and solid Dunlop cycle, motor- 
cycle, and aeroplane tyres, of solid band 
tyres, of Dunlop detachable wire wheels, 
steel and wooden motor wheels, rims, 
valves, inflators, golf balls, and sundry 
other goods. 

The company were the founders of the 
pneumatic tyre industry in the year 1888, 
and tlii? name " Dunlop " is inseparably 
connected with tyres for motor-cars or 
cycles of all kinds. The chief factor in 
the amazing progress of the company is 
the fact that the utmost care is always 
exercised throughout the whole process of 
manufacture in order to ensure that all 
products shall be free from any defect, and 
shall be in every way suitable for the 
purposes for which they are intended. The 
very best jnaterials procurable are used 
in the works, and highly qualified em- 
ployees are engaged in every branch. 

A special feature is made by the com- 
pany of the Dunlop grooved tyre, which 

was the forerunner of all the present non- 
skidding patterns. It is claimed that this 
tyre provides a cut-resisting and very 
durable tread, which, apart from its 
superiority over a plain tread in the pre- 
vention or mitigation of lateral skidding, 
provides a fore and aft non-skid of a very 
real character, as well as an extra thick- 
ness of rubber. It secures a thorough 
grip of roads, and this is of peculiar ad- 
vantage when surfaces are greasy or when 
vehicles are climbing hills. The Dunlop 
plain tyre also commands an enormous 
sale, and it represents the highest grade 
of tyre in its least expensive form, and 
while it has not the special features of the 
grooved one, it is an excellent cover for 
those who do not experience the necessity 
for anything more than it gives. The 
Dunlop " Limousine " tyre, manufactured 
in either a grooved or plain style, is made 
in various sizes and of extra strength, and 
it is exceptionally suitable for heavy cars. 

The company manufacture all descrip- 
tions of accessories, and a large stock of 
them is kept at their works as well as at 
their branches. These include forked 
levers, tyre manipulators, security bolts, 
wing nuts, leather and metal washers, 
spare parts of large or small valves, pump 
tubing and adaptors, tyre pumps and 
jacks, repair outfits containing every- 
requisite to cope with breakdowns, " Sure- 
patch " solutions, patches, canvas repair 
rolls, vulcanising material and outfit, tyre 
testers, cover bags, and numerous other 

The company have a large hydraulic 
press by which solid band tyres are rigidly 
fixed on wheels for motor lorries and other 

The directors of the Dunlop Company 
have always been alive to the fact that an 
apparently perfect tyre may, owing to new 
discoveries or improved methods of manu- 
facture, be excelled in some particular, 
and, having acted on this principle, the 
goods offered by them may be guaranteed 
to be up-to-date in every respect. 

That which has already been said in 
favour of the high-class tyres and acces- 
sories for motor-cars might with equal 
truth be applied to motor and ordinary 
cycle tyres and sundries. In this branch 
the company manufacture Dunlop " Mag- 
num," " Roadster," " Juvenile," auto- 
wheel, rubber-studded, three-ribbed, side- 
car, combination and ribbed racing tyres, 
all of which are thoroughly efficient as 
regards anti-slipping qualities and resili- 
ency, while experiments directed towards 
obtaining an extremely high degree of 

resistance to wear have been crowned with 
conspicuous success. 

Spare parts and sundries, similar to 
those prepared for motor-cars, are also 

Re-treading and repairs of all kinds are 
promptly attended to by skilled artisans 
under thoroughly efficient supervision. 

Dunlop golf balls have justly earned 
the highest reputation among players, and 
it would be difficult to find an exponent of 
the game who is not aware of the prac- 
tically unchallenged preference for them. 

It should be added that the Dunlop 
Company have, during the past two or 
three years, supplied an immense quan- 
tity of goods of all descriptions for war 
requirements, and although this excep- 
tional strain has fallen with some force 
upon the Calcutta establishment, motor 
and cycle owners in Bengal have had little 
reason to complain that their orders have 
not been executed with that promptness 
for which the company have earned so 
great a reputation. 

The company occupy extensive offices, 
store rooms, warehouses, and godowns, at 
3 and 3/1 Mangoe Lane, Calcutta. 



One cannot be in the streets of Calcutta 
for even an hour without being im- 
pressed by the immense number of motor- 
cars which are seen flying along in all 
directions, and the mind naturally reverts 
to those days when — according to his- 
tory — the only means of transport for 
either human beings or goods were of 
the most primitive description. From the 
very beginning of things, the coolie has, 
in India and other similar countries, been 
the ordinary beast of burden, and he can 
still hold his own in places where no 
wheeled vehicle could possibly travel. 

Even in the year 1773 when the well- 
known firm of Dykes & Co., Ltd., of 
Calcutta, was formed by Mr. Robert 
Dykes, there were no carriages on the 
roads, and any one desiring to go on a 
journey of two miles or twenty had to 
make his choice between the box-like 
palki or the clumsy and most uncomfort- 
able bullock cart. The first attempt to 
produce anything which had the slightest 
claim to be called an improvement was 
made a few years later by a Mr. Brown- 
berry, an assistant in this firm, who 
designed a four-wheeled carriage which 
came to be known as the " Brownberry," 
or " office juan," and these useful, if un- 



1 Exterior ok Motor Showroom. 



5. Motor Exgi.neerinu Shop. 




attractive, vehicles appear to be unlikely 
for some time to lose favour in Bengal. 
Messrs. Dykes & Co. engaged in the 
building of carriages of all descriptions 
for a considerable number of years, new 
styles being introduced from time to 
time, and they were in the van in 
connection with the importation and 
manufacture of broughams, landaus, 
victorias, barouches, and phaetons, in 
addition to two-wheeled carts and cars 
such as the Norfolk, Ralli, and many 
others. In the year 1897, when motor- 
cars were first imported into Calcutta, it 
was suggested to Mr. Newing (since 
deceased), who was then head of the firm, 
that he should seriously take into con- 
sideration the question of entering into 
the motor business, but that gentleman 
scoffed at the idea, and said that " motors 
would never take the place of carriages 
in this country." Very few cars (and 
they were far from being perfect) were 
imported during the ne.xt six or seven 
years, but about the time of Mr. Newing's 
retirement in 1905 it was evident to in- 
telligent men of business that, while horse 
vehicles would always have a place in 
India, motor-cars were gaining in popu- 
larity and were destined to play an 
important part as a means of conveyance 
for individuals or in the transport of 
merchandise. The senior partner at that 
time, Mr. Coward, clearly recognized the 
change that was taking place, and, during 
the time that he was on leave in England, 
he purchased a few reliable cars which, 
on their arrival at Calcutta, very quickly 
found customers. 

One would imagine that these transac- 
tions furnished abundant proof that 
motor-cars had now really got a hold 
upon the wealthy classes of Calcutta, but 
one and all seemed to be imbued with the 
ultra-conservatism of India, and they ap- 
peared to be unwilling to give up their 
carriages in favour of a somewhat costly 
vehicle of whose management they were 
entirely ignorant. 

About three years later, that is in 1908, 
Mr. Coward left India, and he was suc- 
ceeded by Mr. Ferris, a keen motorist, 
who accepted on behalf of the firm a 
niunber of agencies for motor-cars of 
repute, among them being the world- 
renowned " Wolseley," several hundreds 
of which have been sold by Messrs. 
Dykes & Co. 

A stroll through the very extensive 
works of the firm reveals the fact that 
while the carriage-building and repairing 
industry is still an exceedingly busy and 

important branch, the motor department 
has grown to enormous dimensions, the 
employees numbering some hundreds of 

After passing through the boiler and 
engine houses one notices smiths, fitters 
and others busy as bees in their respective 
places, but all of them evidently keenly 
alive to the fact that careful and not 
slipshod work is expected from them. 

In one shed there was a row of 
" Brownberrys " in various stages of con- 
struction, and, pointing to them, Mr. 
James, the energetic and courteous 
manager of the firm, said : " I do not 
think these carriages will ever go out of 
fashion in Calcutta." Farther along 
there were broughams, victorias, and 
other European types, beautifully finished 
and simply marvellous in the luxuriance 
of their appointments. 

Messrs. Dykes & Co. make motor-car 
bodies for any description of chassis, and 
every detail of work, from the commence- 
ment in the engineering shops to the 
final touch of upholstering, is carried out 
on the firm's premises by thoroughly 
skilled workmen. A stock of 150 cars 
may usually be seen in the large garages 
and stores in Waterloo Street, and these 
include motors belonging to clients, in 
addition to a number of " Wolseley," 
" Vinot," " Arrol-Johnston," " Stellite," 
" Swift," and " Buick " cars, for all of 
which the firm are agents in Bengal, 
Bihar, and Assam. 

It should be mentioned that Messrs. 
Dykes & Co. have supplied a large num- 
ber of motor vehicles of various kinds for 
use in the present European War, but 
particular reference should be made to 
a wagon designed for use in the trans- 
port of munitions and stores along roads, 
but which forms a pontoon for the cross- 
ing of rivers as soon as the wheels have 
been removed and a few other slight 
alterations have been made. 

All kinds of repairs to carriages and 
motor vehicles are executed by fully 
qualified artisans, and accessories and 
fittings of every description are always 
kept in stock. 

The firm constructed a particu- 
larly beautiful royal carriage for the use 
of His Majesty King George V, on the 
occasion of the Coronation Durbar at 
Delhi in 191 1, and the Royal Coat of 
Arms over the entrance to the works 
proclaims the fact of the patronage of 
the King-Emperor. The firm also hold 
appointments from the late Viceroy, 
Baron Hardinge of Penshurst, and the 

Governors of the several Provinces and 
the predecessors of these officials for 
many years past also conferred similar 

Messrs. Dykes & Co. are now a private 
limited liability company whose directors 
are Messrs. W. T. Coward, G. T. Hor- 
ton, and W. Ferris, while Mr. P. James 
is Secretary and General Manager. 

The firm have very large engineering 
shops in Circular Road, Calcutta, while 
the Waterloo Street premises are in the 
very heart of the city, near to Government 
House, and surrounded by all the leading 
banking and other companies. 

The telegraphic address is " Dykes- 
anko," Calcutta. 



From time immemorial the vast water- 
ways of Bengal have been largely used 
for the transfer of agricultural produce 
and general merchandise between Cal- 
cutta and towns and villages in the 
interior, and many barges, junks, and flats 
which were in use nearly a century ago 
were prototypes of some of those seen 
to-day, but the development of the land 
and of milling and other industries has 
necessitated the construction of larger and 
faster craft. 

Shipbuilding yards, with their comple- 
ment of iron and brass foundries and 
timber-sawing mills, have sprung into 
existence on the banks of the Hooghly in 
and near to Calcutta, and at the close of 
the year 191 6 there are remarkable 
evidences of activity in all that concerns 
the supply of steam, motor, and other 
vessels for the conveyance of both 
passengers and goods. 

One of these yards is owned by the 
East Bengal Engineering Works, who 
have engineering workshops, a slipway for 
the drawing up of boats from the river, 
and a thriving shipbuilding business on 
the Rustomjee Parsi Road, at Cossipore, 
some four miles from Calcutta. 

The works were built in the year 1907 
by Messrs. Raja Sreenath Roy and Bros., 
of Sova Bazar Street, Calcutta, who are 
the managing agents, while Mr. G. S. 
Thompson has held the position of 
superintending engineer since igil. The 
shipbuilding yard is designed for the con- 
struction of all classes of river craft, 
including steam and motor launches and 
boats, cargo flats, and other vessels suit- 
able for the very heavy traffic now carried 
on upon the waters of the great rivers 
hereinbefore mentioned. 



1. Entrance to Slipway. 

2. Twix-scKEW Steamer, no ft. x 17 ft., axd Cargo-flat, 150 it, x 26 ft., under CoxsTRncTiox ON Slipway. 
3, Steamer on Carriage Ready for Launching. 



The workshops comprise iron and brass 
foundries, shops for blacksmiths, car- 
penters, and pattern-makers ; and the 
machinery — driven by steam from a boiler 
of 40 h.p. — consists of lathes, planes, 
drills, gear-cutters, shearers, grinders, 
punches, hammers, and other plant of the 
usual character. 

Component parts of all kinds of struc- 
tural work are manufactured in the shops, 
while a portion of the premises is set 
apart for general repairs, not only to 

conveniences they afford, rendered very 
great assistance by enabling agriculturists 
to obtain good markets for their produce 
by providing Calcutta and other mer- 
chants with the means of forwarding 
goods of all kinds to various places in 
the interior. 



The most important feature connected 
with this bank is the remarkable progress 

Bromley-Martin, J. C. Georges Bouillat, 
Emile Francqui, J. S. Haskell, and J. 
Leigh Wood, C.M.G. The bank was 
incorporated in England, and its head 
offices are at 4 Crosby Square, London, 
E.C., with branches at Calcutta, Bombay, 
Bagdad, and Basra. 

The fifth annual general meeting of 
the shareholders of the bank was held in 
London on March 18, 191 5, when the 
report of the directors and the balance- 
sheet for the year ending December 31, 

I. Exterior. 


2. iXTERlOR. 

boats, but also to machinery, motor-cars, 
and other steam or petrol driven vehicles. 
This workshop is conveniently situated in 
the midst of several jute presses and 
other factories, and has every facility for 
dealing with their heavy and urgent 

Iron is imported from England and 
worked up in the foundry, and brass 
castings and fittings are entirely made by 
skilled artificers at Cossipore. Between 
250 and 300 hands are in constant 

Enterprising companies, such as the 
one now under notice, have, by the 

which has been made during the five years 
of its existence, and it is believed that 
such an advance made in so short a 
period is unparalleled in the history of 
Indian banks. The company is, without 
doubt, fortunate in having on its director- 
ate several exceedingly well-known men 
in financial circles in England and on 
the continent of Europe, who, not content 
with being mere figure-heads, take an 
intelligent and active interest in concerns 
in which they invest capital. The chair- 
man is the Right Hon. Lord Balfour of 
Burleigh, K.T., and his colleagues are 
Sir Jacob E. Sassoon, Bart., Messrs. G. 


1914, were duly presented. Lord Balfour 
of Burleigh, in moving the adoption of 
the report, pointed out that the profits 
of the bank for the first six months of 
the year were most satisfactory, but that 
on the outbreak of war in Europe the 
directors and other officials had a most 
anxious time, as a considerable amount 
of produce upon which money had been 
advanced was shipped in German and 
.Austrian vessels, the majority of which 
had either been captured by the British 
Navy or had been compelled to enter 
neutral ports, thus making it difficult tn 
obtain delivery of cargoes. The outlook 



as regards the release of this temporarily 
locked-up capital proved to be more 
favourable at the date of the meeting, and 
the chairman added that both imports 
and exports had greatly improved, and 
he looked forward with some confidence 
to a period of prosperity, owing, in part, 
to the prospect of a record wheat crop 
in India between May and December 191 5 
— estimated at from three to six million 
tons — which, with the high prices pre- 
vailing in Europe for grain, might be ex- 
pected to benefit agriculture to such an 
extent that the bank would eventually 
participate therein. A net profit for the 
year of £45,123 6s. 2d. (including 
£8,152 8s. I id. brought forward from 
the previous year) was declared, and the 
board, feeling that a policy of extreme 
caution was necessary owing to the den- 
sity of the war-cloud, had placed £15,000 
to a reserve fund for contingencies. After 
carrying forward a sum of £6,477 9S- 6d., 
a dividend at the rate of 5 per cent, per 
annum was proposed by the chairman, 
and subsequent speakers, in supporting 
the motion, expressed the opinion that 
the result of the year's working reflected 
the greatest credit on the entire manage- 
ment of the bank. 

Current deposit accounts are opened 
at the head office or at any of the" 
branches, and interest is allowed at 2 per 
cent, per annum on daily balances be- 
tween Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 1,00,000, pro- 
vided that the interest for the half year 
is not less than Rs. 5. Fixed deposits 
are received for one year at 4I per cent., 
but special rates for shorter periods -may 
be obtained on application. British and 
foreign stocks and bills of exchange are 
purchased or sold, and dividends are 
collected on behalf of clients. 

General banking and exchange business 
is carried on, and loans and credits are 
granted on approved security. The 
authorized capital of the company is 
£1,500,000 (in shares of £10), the 
amount called up is £600,000, the 
reserve liability of shareholders is 
£900,000, and the reserve fund stands 
at £55,000. 

The bankers of the company are the 
Bank of England, the Bank of Scotland, 
the London Joint Stock Bank, Ltd., the 
County and Westminster Bank, Ltd., the 
National Provincial Bank of England, 
Ltd., and the London and South-Western 
Bank, Ltd. 

The Calcutta branch is situated at 9 
Clive Street. 


Not many years have elapsed since the 
first motor-car was placed upon the 
streets as an established form of trans- 
port, but the rate of progress which has 
been made in perfecting it to the standard 
of excellence of the present day is nothing 
less than remarkable. Prejudice against 
horseless vehicles on town and country 
roads was e.xceedingly strong and active, 
and motor pioneers had to run the gaunt- 
let of biassed criticisms which were as 
unreasonable as they were untrue. Many 
persons will call to mind a drawing in the 
" London Charivari," or Punch, in which 
were depicted the anguish of mind, and 
a kind of " I-wish-I -were-anywhere-else- 
but-here " feeling of a motorist whose car 
had broken down and was being ignomin- 
iously towed along by a couple of proud- 
looking farm-horses in the centre of a 
crowd of jeering yokels. Accidents hap- 
pen to the motor-car even now, as they 
do to the railway train, the four-in-hand, 
or the costermonger's barrow, but prac- 
tical experience, backed up by improved 
scientific methods, have greatly reduced 
the number of casualties. When speed, 
comfort, and a certain amount of relia- 
bility had been secured, India at once 
availed itself of the opportunity of re- 
lieving horses and oxen of a tremendous 
quantity of hard work in a tropical sun, 
and agencies for the sale of continental 
cars by the best makers were soon opened 
in the principal centres of the country. 

The city of Calcutta was in the van in 
this enterprise, but it was found that there 
were many features in imported cars 
which were not suitable for the climate of 
India ; there were individual preferences 
for pattern of body, colour, upholstery, 
and mechanism ; and the consequence was 
that customers were not always supplied 
with the kind of vehicle most in accord- 
ance with their tastes and requirements. 

It was in April 1905 that the Prench 
Motor-Car and Electric Company, Ltd., 
came upon the scene in Calcutta, and 
commenced business at 55 Bentinck Street 
as motor-car importers and repairers, 
coach-builders, electrical engineers, con- 
tractors, and general merchants. They 
began in quite a modest way with about 
twenty workmen, a stock of ten cars, and 
floor space of only 2,500 sq. ft., but as 
they quickly realized that " bodies " made 
in Europe were unsuited to India, they 
began manufacturing them in their works 
from teakwood and then having them 
attached to selected imported chassis, thus 


obtaining for the company premier posi- 
tion in the coach-building trade in India. 

This use of indigenous timber was fully 
appreciated by motorists in Calcutta, and 
very rapid expansion of business com- 
pelled the company to obtain further 
larger premises at 35 and 36 Ripon 
Street and 3 Sharriff Lane. 

The workshops — which occupy a floor 
space of 62,000 sq. ft., and yet are too 
small for present requirements — are 
models of their kind, and they are 
equipped with all up-to-date and labour- 
saving machinery and appliances. 

The company opened a branch in 
Bombay in the year 1910, in order to keep 
in touch with the increasing circle of their 
customers, and in the two cities already 
mentioned they now employ seven hun- 
dred workmen, as well as over fifty 
assistants and six European engineers, 
and keep a stock of some ninety cars 
of all descriptions. 

Agencies are held for Automobiles Ber- 
liet, Lyons, France ; Automobiles Mors, 
Ltd., France ; Automobile Clement 
Bayard, France ; Minerva Motors, Ltd., 
Belgium ; Vulcan cars, London ; Auto- 
mobiles Panhard, France ; Automobiles 
Bianchi, Milan • Philip's metal filament 
lamps, Holland ; Ercole Marelli, Ltd., 
Milan ; Mawdsleys, Ltd., Dursley, 
England ; Electric motors and dynamos 
and the Westinghouse Brake Company, 
Ltd., London. 

The company is incorporated in Bel- 
gium, and its principal offices and garages 
are : Calcutta, 55 Bentinck Street ; Bom- 
bay, New Queen's Road, Girgaum ; and 
Paris, 56 Rue Lafayette. 


The manufacture of shellac is an in- 
dustry which is practically confined to 
the East, where the raw material for the 
factory is somewhat extensively produced. 
In the year 1886, the production of this 
valuable commodity was commenced by 
Mr. J. C. Galstaun of Calcutta at the 
same time as he opened up his business 
as a general merchant. 

Lac is obtained in a crude form from 
Assam, the Central and North-Western 
Provinces, and Nagpur, and, after it has 
been crushed into seed, it is washed, 
boiled, and subsequently rolled into 
" garnet " or thin sheets, the product 
being known as shellac. Four crops are 
obtained in the course of a year ; one, 
found in the Central Province and North- 
Western Provinces, arrives in April and 

He ID Office, Calcutta. 

2. SHOw.tooM. 3. Motor Rei'Air S;iop. 4. Machine Shoi'. 5. Coach-biildixg Shop. 

6. Motor Repair Shop. 




^f^^_ -^.iJL;*': 



',-,.■ -»J;2g^, ' . ?j:"^ '? 'i ' 'J'^J t WMW 





I. 250-KlU)WATT Set at H.M. Mint, Caixitta. 2- looH.R Motor Driving Set at H.M. Mint, Calcutta. 

J. 5oo-Kiu>WArr.SET Erected i-or the Port Commissioxkrs, CALCurrA. 4. small lo-KaowAn Lighting Set. 

S. 250-KiLOWATr Set IxsTALLEU for the Roval Ulrbar at Delhi. 



May ; rungeen, and a small yield of jetu 
of superior quality, come in the month of 
August ; while kusmee is produced in 
November and December, and, as the last 
named is the most valuable of the series, 
it is made up entirely by hand and is 
afterwards consigned to purchasers in the 
United States of America. Statistics 
recently published show that all the ex- 
ports of shellac from India — amounting 
to 250,000 cases annually — are shipped at 
the port of Calcutta, and of this total, 
Mr. Galstaun is responsible for from 
12,000 to 15,000 cases. 

The factory is situated at Ultadinghi, 
near Calcutta, and it contains first class 
steam-driven machinery which is capable 
of manufacturing about five tons of shellac 
daily. About 150 hands are constantly 
employed on the premises, and it is 
worthy of note that if the proprietor had 
to depend upon manual labour alone, he 
would require at least one thousand 

Mr. Galstaun is the owner of a con- 
siderable quantity of landed and other 
property, in and around Calcutta, and 
one building, the warehouse occupied by 
Messrs. Ralli Brothers, in Lall Bazar, is 
the largest of its kind in the city. His 
.offices are situated at 58 Radha Bazar 


The pioneers of the electric installa- 
tion work in Bengal were Messrs. Octavius 
Steel & Co., 14 Old Court House Street, 
Calcutta, who twenty-five years ago (i.e. 
1890) introduced the now universal light- 
ing system into the second city of the 
British Empire by installing plant for the 
electric lighting of the Kidderpore Docks 
and Howrah Bridge for the Calcutta Port 
Commissioners; Harrison Road was 
undertaken ne.\t, and plant was afterwards 
fixed in the station yard at Howrah for 
,e East Indian Railway Company. 

Subsequently very many important con- 
Tracts were carried out — chiefly for the 
Government — including the electrification 
of Meerut Cantonment, His Majesty's 
Mint, Calcutta, and installations in 
numerous Native States, jute mills, and 
other industrial concerns. 

With the development of the business, 
the firm entered into an arrangement with 
the General Electric Company, London, 
in order that they might secure the latest 
design and manufacture of every class of 
electrical plant, fittings, and accessories 


as soon as they were placed on the market, 
and so rapidly did this venture progress 
in India that Messrs. Octavius Steel & 
Co. were successful in executing contracts 
for every class of electric power and light 
installations from one end of India to the 
other. The great expansion thus created 
led to the formation in 191 1 of the 
General Electric Company (India), Ltd., 
which acquired the whole of the business, 
but Messrs. Octavius Steel & Co. retained 
the position of managing agents of the 
concern. The new company was at the 
same time affiliated with the parent com- 
pany. The General Electric Company, 
London, which is known all over the world 
as the " G.E.C." 

The G. E. C. (India), Ltd., holds the 
largest stock in the East of everything 
of an electrical character connected with 
electric power and lighting in central 
power stations, towns, industrial concerns, 
palaces, residences, and offices — in a word, 
from a power-house to a bell-push, not 
to mention the numerous labour-saving 
and comfort-affording devices such as the 
" Swan " ceiling and " Freezor " desk 
fans, and electric heating and cooking 

The showrooms and extensive godowns 
at 14 Old Court House Street, contain a 
most comprehensive and unique assort- 
ment of every class of electrical requisite, 
of which reference may be made to the 
display of electric light fittings, " Mag- 
net " electric heating and cooking ap- 
paratus, switchgear, radiators, telephones, 
bells, instruments, and the world-famous 
" Osram " drawn-wire filament lamp, 
which has many imitators, but no equal. 
It would be impossible in this brief note 
to give a full list of all the important 
work carried out by this interesting con- 
cern, but the following may be taken as 
typical enterprises: (i) His Majesty's 
Mint — three 250-kw. Belliss and Morcom 
G.E.C. steam dynamos with boiler-house 
equipment complete, also numerous 
motors from 5 to 150 h.p. (2) 500 kw. 
set direct coupled to G.E.C. generator 
with Belliss and Morcom engine, also 
boilers, for the Port Commissioners, 
Kidderpore; (3) a similar combination, 
but for 250 kw., for the Delhi Durbar, 
and (4) 16 jib electric cranes for the East 
Indian Railway, Howrah. 

The General Electric Company, London, 
of which the Indian company may be con- 
sidered an adjunct, has enormous engin- 
eering works at Witton, near Birmingham, 
where also are situated carbon, conduit, 
switchgear, and " Arc " lamp works. The 


fittings works are in Birmingham, the tele- 
phone and instrument works in .Salford, 
the " Osram " lamp, and Robertson car- 
bon filament lamp works at Hammersmith, 
London, and the general accessories works 
are at Southwark, while the Pirelli general 
cable works are at Southampton. More 
than ten thousand hands are employed in 
these establishments. 

There are branches in all the principal 
cities throughout the British and other 
chief centres in Europe, Asia, Australasia, 
Canada, and South America, and these are 
in the hands of the General Electric Com- 
panies of France, Spain, Belgium, and 
other European countries. The General 
Electric Company (India), Ltd., The 
General Electric Company (China), The 
British General Electric Company, South 
Africa, The British General Electric Com- 
pany, Australia, and the British General 
Electric Company, Canada. 

The manager of the General Electric 
Company (India), Ltd., is Mr. Francis 
Holt, and the telegraphic address is 
" Kilowatt," Calcutta or Madras. 


The merchant — or " middle man," as 
he is frequently termed — who purchases 
agricultural produce from growers and 
then either deals with it himself or sells 
to mill-owners, is an absolute necessity 
in nearly every country in the world, 
but he is especially indispensable in India, 
where the majority of the landholders 
are cultivators of exceedingly small areas. 
The fields of paddy, jute, wheat, and 
other cereals are frequently many miles 
from a centre touched by railway or river, 
and it would be impossible for small con- 
signments to be transported to market or 
factory excepting at a ruinous cost to the 

Here it is that the middle-man steps 
in, who can afford to clear the country- 
side of small lots and then send them 
collectively to such places as he may 
desire. It is therefore of the utmost im- 
portance that these merchants should be 
men of strict integrity in order that ryots 
may obtain a fair price for their crops, 
and it is satisfactory to note that here in 
Bengal there are hundreds of such buyers 
who have gained the entire confidence of 
dwellers upon the soil. 

Among those who enjoy this highly 
desirable reputation is the firm whose 
name appears at the commencement of 
these notes, and it is no mere figure of 
speech to say that the partners are fully 

p. B. GUZDAR & CO. 
I. The Gl'zpar Ghooerv Jute Pre^ House. 2. Jute Presses. 3. Victoria Corrox Mills, 

4. The Howrah Hvdravuc Phesh. j. Jute Presses. 


Blow Room. 

s. CARnixu Depaktment. 3. SI' Depahtmext. 

5. Bundling ANn Baling DEi'ARTMr..\T, 




entitled to the highest credit for the 
honourable position which they have 

Messrs. Guzdar & Co. are not only 
purchasers of large quantities of agri- 
cultural and general produce, but they are 
proprietors of the V'ictoria Cotton Mills 
and the Ghoosery and Howrah Jute 
Presses, all of which are on the banks 
of the River Hooghly in Calcutta. 

The firm was established in the year 
1865 by Messrs. P. E. and C. E. Guzdar, 
who were concerned chiefly in the export 
of rice, pucca jute bales, and other com- 

Their business connections increased 
gradually but surely, and in 1886 they 
established a jute press, which, owing to 
greater accommodation which has since 
been provided, is now capable of turning 
out some two thousand bales in a working 
day of twelve hours. 

This venture proved to be such a suc- 
cess that two years later the firm erected 
a cotton-mill containing 12,000 spindles, 
and which gives constant employment to 
about 520 labourers. Full of energy and 
with a laudable desire to enlarge their 
environment, they purchased in the year 
1904 the Howrah Hydraulic Press, which 
is able to send forth, day by day, no fewer 
than 1,200 bales of jute. 

The activities of the partners did not, 
however, rest with cotton and jute-mills ; 
they recognized the fact that there was 
a great future in industrial enterprise in 
India in the mining of coal which had not, 
twenty or thirty years ago, assumed that 
degree of importance which the extent 
of payable seams and the accessibility 
of the fields appeared to warrant. They 
therefore in the year 1908 formed the 
Kajora Coal Company for the working 
of a colliery in the Raneegunge district, 
and when the machinery is employed con- 
stantly the average monthly yield of very 
good second-class coal is not less than 
6,000 tons. 

The present partners are Messrs. C. E., 
E. P., and M. C. Guzdar, and their offices 
are situated at 44 Ezra Street, Calcutta. 


J. H. R. HARLEY & CO. 

Old China Bazar Street in Calcutta 
is not by any means a pretentious-looking 
thoroughfare and as it is situated in a 
densely populated portion of the city, in 
which the majority of the buildings have 
no imposing exteriors, one is all the more 
surprised to find such commodious and 

well-arranged business premises as those 
occupied at 87 by Messrs. J. H. R. 
Harley & Co., manufacturers of paulins 
and waterproof canvas. Government con- 
tractors, and general merchants. 

The firm was founded in the early 
eighties of last century by Mr. J. H. R. 
Harley, and the proprietor's name soon 
became a household word throughout the 
East in connection with the making of 
paulins for all commercial purposes. 

The present European war has made 
enormous claims upon the resources of 
manufacturers of machinery and goods 
of all descriptions, ranging from aero- 
planes and heavy guns to the most 
common-place article of domestic use, and 
Messrs. Harley & Co., who have had the 
honour of being one of the selected firms 
to receive Government contracts, have 
been entrusted with the largest single 
order given by the Government of India 
for canvas waterproofed locally, this 
being for no fewer than 60,000 yards of 
that substance. The major portion of 
this material is required for use in the 
commissariat departments of the various 
expeditions, chiefly as covers for mules 
and other transport animals. Apart from 
the war, however, Messrs. Harley & Co. 
have purchasers for their waterproofed 
goods throughout the whole of the East, 
although India and Burma contain the 
most important markets. The firm's 
waterproofing factory is situated in the 
Grand Trunk Road, Howrah, near Cal- 
cutta, and the extensive premises cover 
an area of about 400 sq. yds. The 
number of daily labourers constantly 
employed is about one hundred. 

Mr. J. H. R. Harley died in the year 
191 1, and he was succeeded by his son, 
Mr. W. S. G. Harley, who is now sole 

The latter established the " Harle- 
quin " printing press on the property in 
China Bazar Street in the year 19 13, 
and he undertakes all kinds of job and 
artistic printing, book-binding, and other 
similar works. 

Messrs. Harley & Co. have agencies 
for the sale of their paulins in Burma 
and in the Province of Madras, while they 
are representatives in India of Messrs. 
David Corsair and Sons, Ltd., of 
Arbroath, Scotland, for their waterproof 
canvas, and for the Swiss Silk Bolting 
Cloth Manufacturing Company, of Zurich, 

Mr. Harley gives personal supervision 
in every department, and he is assisted by 
several reliable foremen. 


The London correspondents of the firm 
are Messrs. Henry W. Bush & Co., Ltd., 
and the local telegraphic address is 
" Harlequin," Calcutta. 



Rope was manufactured by hand in 
Calcutta very many years ago, and it is 
not surprising that this was the case 
seeing that sisal, Manila hemp, aloe, 
cotton, country hemp, jute, various 
descriptions of fibre, and other raw pro- 
duce are found in luxurious abundance in 
the East. Another contributing cause was 
the extremely plentiful supply of cheap 
labour, and thus an industry was started 
which has largely increased the revenue 
of the State and has indirectly been the 
means of providing improved conditions 
of living for thousands of workers. 

The Ghoosery Rope Works are the 
oldest of the kind in India. They were 
established in the year 1780 by Mr. 
W. H. Harton, upon an area of about 
68 acres on the west bank of the River 
Hooghly, within the municipality of How- 
rah. They have a frontage upon the 
river of 1,977 ft., and the property 
extends inland for a distance of some 
700 ft., the municipal main road dividing 
the works into two parts. A building, 
which tradition says was a church 
during the period of the Danish settle- 
mem, is still standing on the premises, 
and is now used for the storage of yarn, 
hemp, and other goods. 

The business was commenced and is 
still being carried on under the name of 
W. H. Harton & Co., but the proprietor, 
Mr. J. C. Stalkaart, is a grandson of 
Marmaduke Stalkaart (Naval Architect 
to King George 111), who joined the firm 
in 181 2. 

" Harton's " ropes are looked upon as 
representing the standard of excellence 
in every part of the civilized world, and 
their reputation for sterling quality and 
strength is unsurpassed by any other 
make : " Heave me a Harton " cries the 
skipper as he approaches the wharf, and 
when he has one of the Ghoosery cables 
firmly secured to his stanchions he defies 
all sorts of weather, and all resistance 

Manila hemp is imported in bales from 
the Philippine Islands, and it is used for 
making high-class ropes, while paulins 
are made from specially prepared canvas 
and composition. The hemp is passed 
through spinning, heckling, and softing 
machines, and the whole of the plant con- 

I. The Older Method of Hand Labour. 


2. Machine and Labourers. 3. Closer View ok Machine at Work. 

4. Ix THE Printing DEi'ART.MENr 


I. tlxiiiiiiT. Paris ExHiiuriox, 1900 ; the Largest Rope ever Made. 

2. A General View. 

I. Si'i.vxiNG Manilla. 



4. Kul'E Makino. 





I. HOfSE. 


2. Fernery. 3- Lawn axj) Grounds. 



nected with these premises is driven by- 
steam. Women engaged in spinning are 
paid according to the quantity turned out, 
but all other labour is engaged at a daily 
rate of remuneration. 

Country hemp is used for small lines 
of all descriptions, such as lead and log 
lines, signal halyards, house-lines, and 
others of a similar diameter, while tow 
from Central Provinces hemp is made 
into oakum. 

Messrs. Harton & Co. were pioneers in 
the importation of coir yarn from the 
convict settlements in the Andaman 
Islands, but at the same time large quan- 
tities are received from Calicut and other 
places on the western coast of India. The 
yarn arrives in lengths of from 80 ft. 
to 90 ft. being knotted up to 1,400 ft., 
and after it has been shaped like a ball, 
it is subsequently made into ropes. 

The extent of these works is of the 
great advantage, as it has been possible 
to arrange for five rope-walks (each of 
which is a quarter of a mile in length). 
So spacious are the premises that they 
can, without undue trouble, be utilized 
for turning out a single rope measuring 
1,800 ft. from end to end. 

Ordinary ropes range from 1 in. to 
26 in. in circumference, but, at the 
last exhibition in Paris in the year 1906, 
the firm had a magnificent display of 
rope products which included a rope of 
16 in. in diameter, this being the largest 
size that the commercial or shipping 
world has ever seen. First-class 
machinery has been installed for the 
making of flexible steel ropes varying in 
size from i to 6 in. in circumference. 

The plant in the works is of modern 
design and includes twenty-four spinning 
and four heckling and softing machines, 
and the steam engine and boiler which 
have been fixed are available also for 
the carpenters', fitting, and engineering 

A special feature is made of coir cables, 
from 12 in. to 26 in., which are sup- 
plied to the Harbour Boards in New 
Zealand, San Francisco, Seattle, Man- 
chester Ship Canal, and to a considerable 
—pumber of South African ports. 
■ A system of rollers has been adopted 
for the transport of rope from the works 
to barges on the river, and the output 
of the various products is now so great 
that weekly shipments are made to nearly 
every country in the world. 

Messrs. Harton & Co. are contractors 
H.M. arsenals in India, to the Royal 
Indian Marine, the Port Commissioners, 


and Government railways in India and 
Burma, to leading firms in Calcutta, and 
to the following steamship companies : 
The British India Steam Navigation Com- 
pany, Ltd., the Asiatic Steamship Com- 
pany, the River Steam Navigation 
Company, and to the services of Messrs. 
Donald Currie, Apcar, Mcllwraith, 
McEachern & Co., of Melbourne, and 
other owners trading to Calcutta. Sole 
agencies for Bengal are held for Suter 
Hartmann's Red Hand Brand of anti- 
corrosive and anti-fouling compositions, 
for the bottoms of ships ; for anti-corro- 
sive paints mixed ready for use ; and for 
the famous Lacvelva enamel. 

If further proof were needed as to the 
high position in the world's markets held 
by Messrs. Harton's ropes, it may be 
gained from the fact that the following — 
among other awards of merit — have been 
received : bronze and gold medals at the 
Calcutta Exhibition of 1882 ; four gold 
and two silver medals at the Calcutta 
International Exhibition, 1883-4 ; a gold 
medal at Amsterdam in 1883 ; a bronze 
medal at the Colonial and Indian Ex- 
hibition held in London in 1886 ; and the 
never-to-be-forgotten bronze medal of the 
Rc-piiblique Frangaise of 1900. 

Mr. Stalkaart's private residence is a 
dream of luxury combined with that com- 
fort which is only obtainable in a well- 
appointed house. It stands in the midst 
of spacious and beautifully kept lawns ; 
and the tanks — of which there are seven 
— are nearly all full of fish. 



The history of railways in India is an 
interesting one; and closely bound up 
with the various devices to secure the 
safe working of them which have been 
introduced upon them during the last 
quarter of a century, the name of Heatly 
and Gresham, Ltd., railway engineers 
and specialists, of Calcutta and Bombay, 
has come to be familiarly known. 

This company had its inception at the 
time when comparative trials were con- 
ducted in India to determine the relative 
advantages of the vacuum and the 
Westinghouse brake. The representa- 
tives sent out on behalf of the former 
company were Mr. H. Heatly and Mr. 
S. T. Gresham, who subsequently formed 
the company which forms the subject 
of this article. 

The battle of the brakes in India is now 
old history, and it is sufficient to say in 
connection with it that it resulted in the 


universal adoption of the vacuum brake 
which has now been made " standard " 
and is exclusively employed on every 
broad, metre, and narrow-gauge railway 
system throughout the country, while its 
adoption for feeder lines is being rapidly 
proceeded with. 

The efforts of the new company were 
originally and primarily directed towards 
the exploitation and proper maintenance 
of the vacuum brake in India, but this 
was supplemented by an extension to 
other branches of railway engineering, 
embracing improvements to cover the re- 
quirements of the engineering, locomotive, 
and carriage and wagon departments of 
the Indian railways ; in short, Messrs. 
Heatly and Gresham became pioneers in 
the supply of railway equipment, and, with 
the experience they possessed, were suc- 
cessful in introducing improvements that 
have withstood the most severe tests as 
to efficiency, in addition to which, their 
expert advice has always been greatly 
valued by departmental officials. 

Another branch of railway engineering 
to which the company turned their atten- 
tion was the provision of efficient signal- 
ling and interlocking equipment to the 
Indian railways, and in this connection 
they were entrusted with the agency, and, 
later, the managing agency of Messrs. 
Saxby and Farmer (India), Ltd., the well- 
known firm of railway signal engineers. 
They are also agents for the Vaughan 
rail anchor, which has long passed the 
experimental stage and is now in regular 
use on many of the Indian railways. 

Attention was early devoted to the 
better lighting and equipment of railway 
coaching stock and Messrs. Heatly and 
Gresham took up the agency, which they 
still hold, of the patent Lighting Com- 
pany, who for many years past have 
devoted special attention to the illu- 
mination of railway carriages by com- 
pressed oil gas, and, later, interested 
themselves specially in the lighting and 
ventilation of coaching stock by elec- 
tricity. In addition to railway carriage 
lighting, the Patent Lighting Company 
have for many years past specialized in 
coast and harbour lighting, and here 
again Messrs. Heatly and Gresham have 
rendered valuable service in improve- 
ments which had for their object the 
better lighting of the various ports, har- 
bours, and river approaches around the 
coast of India. 

In the field of locomotive engineering, 
the name of this firm has for many years 
been a household word. As represent^- 

View or THE WORKS. 


a. MAtHiNK Shop, 

3. Gauvaxbixo Shop, 



lives for the Vulcan Foundry, Ltd., the 
well-known locomotive builders of Newton- 
le-Willows, Lancashire, they have been 
able to keep in touch with the latest de- 
velopments in locomotive designs and 

Foremost among locomotive cab fit- 
tings, in which they specialize, is the well- 
known Gresham and Craven injector, for 
which they have been agents from the 
date of the company's inception. This 
particular injector is now practically a 
standard requirement on all Indian rail- 

Still dealing with the subject of engine 
equipment, mention must be made of the 
Wakefield mechanical lubricator, which 
Messrs. Heatly and Gresham have suc- 
cessfully exploited for several years past 
and which has attained as much favour in 
India as it has on the railways at home. 
The same may be said of the " Robinson " 
locomotive superheater, the agency for 
which has been placed with the same firm 
in whose hands it has made considerable 
progress, and has now been made the 
" standard " for Indian railways. 

Then, too, there are the manufacturers 
of Messrs. Taylor Brothers & Co., Ltd., 
steel manufacturers, who for many years 
past have specialized in high tonnage 
tyres and axles for locomotive, carriage, 
and wagon stock, and in solid rolled steel 
wheel disc centres, for which Messrs. 
Heatly and Gresham are representatives 
also ; while in connection with the Eco- 
nomical Boiler Company, Ltd., they have 
been instrumental in arranging for the 
installation of several large plants, that 
are now in satisfactory operation, for the 
automatic washing-out of locomotive 

At the same time the Hasler Tele- 
graph Works have, through Messrs. 
Heatly and Gresham, been successful in 
placing a large number of their speed 
recorders on the Indian railways ; while 
the requirements of boiler lagging, or 
covering, are catered for by the company 
who represent the Keasbey and Mattison 
Company, Messrs. Newalls Insulation 
Company, and Messrs. J. Dampney & 
Co., for their boiler-washing compound. 

Turning to the fields of carriage and 
wagon building, there are considerable 
improvements and progress to be re- 
ported, for the standard type of bogie 
carriage now turned out by Indian rail- 
way workshops compares favourably, both 
in design and construction, with the out- 

It of the leading railways in England. 

on India coaching stock, is explained to 
a large extent by the employment of 
bolster bogies patented by Mr. Alex. 
Spencer, of the well-known firm of 
Messrs. George Spencer, Moulton & Co., 
Ltd. This company also specialize in 
railway carriage springs, produced of the 
highest grade of rubber, large quantities 
of which have for many years past been 
supplied to the Indian railways through 
the agency of the firm at present under 

The avoidance of hot boxes on coaching 
and wagon stock is accounted for by the 
employment of the .Armstrong oiler, which 
Messrs. Heatly and Gresham have been 
instrumental in introducing on many of 
the principal Indian railways, on several 
of which no other form of axle-box lubri - 
cation is now employed. 

Artistic carriage furnishing is also a 
matter to which Messrs. Heatly and 
Gresham have devoted special attention. 

In connection with this branch of their 
business, they have identified themselves 
with such well-known firms as the General 
Seating Company, Ltd., Messrs. Jas. 
Mcllwraith & Co., Ltd., for carriage 
roofing ; Messrs. Jas. Beresford & Son, 
Ltd., for carriage fittings; Messrs. Mead, 
McLean & Co., for patent ventilators ; 
and Messrs. Lewis Berger & Sons, Ltd., 
for paint and varnishes ; while their 
efforts have been largely instrumental in 
the adoption of the patent Watson-Jones 
coupler, which is to-day practically the 
standard coupling for metre and narrow 
gauge stock in India. In addition to this 
coupler, the A. B.C. Coupler Company, 
the makers of the Patent Watson-Jones 
coupling, have also, through this firm, 
supplied many sets of the automatic 
A. B.C. coupler both to broad and narrow- 
gauge lines. 

To the proper equipment of the loco- 
motive and carriage and wagon work- 
shop, Messrs. Heatly and Gresham have 
also devoted special attention, being 
representatives in this country for such 
well-known firms as Messrs. Brett's 
Patent Lifter Company, power drop 
stamps ; the Howard Pneumatic Engin- 
eering Company, Ltd., for pneumatic 
tools and accessories ; Messrs. H. W. 
Ward & Co., Ltd. ; Messrs. Webster and 
Bennett, Ltd., for machine tools; 
Messrs. Kynoch, Ltd., for gas engines ; 
Messrs. Broom and Wade, for air com- 
pressors ; and Electromotors, Ltd., the 
well-known makers of motors and 

The connection that Messrs. Heatly 


and Gresham have built up with Indian 
railways for the supply of material and 
fittings has led them to turn their atten- 
tion to the development of feeder lines, 
in the survey of several of which they are 
at present interested, and a further 
earnest of their enterprise is afforded by 
the flotation of a company with a factory 
in Calcutta for the manufacture of gal- 
vanized iron utensils of all descriptions. 
The articles now being produced by the 
Indian Galvanizing Company, Ltd., are as 
good in point of strength, quality, and 
galvanizing as those previously imported 
into this country from English makers. 
The success of the project has been so 
marked that arrangements are at present 
being made for the installation of further 
machinery with a view of obtaining a 
greater output. 

Although essentially railway engineers, 
specializing in the supply and equipment 
of fittings for all branches of railway re- 
quirements, Messrs. Heatly and Gresham, 
Ltd., have within recent years been ex- 
tending their sphere of operations to 
general engineering, being representatives 
in this country for such firms as 
Engineering and Arc Lamps, Ltd., the 
New Phonopore Telephone Company 
(patentees and manufacturers of the long- 
distance telephone which bears their 
name), the Silent Electric Clock Com- 
pany (of which several installations are 
now fitted up throughout India), the 
Ironite Company, Ltd., who have suc- 
cessfully interested themselves in a water- 
proofing composition which is largely 
employed for the covering of roofs and 
for station platforms, the Langdon Davies 
Motor Company, and the Asbestos Manu- 
factures Company, Ltd., in connection 
with which Messrs. Heatly and Gresham 
were the pioneers and original intro- 
ducers into the Indian market of asbestos 
cement corrugated sheeting, very large 
quantities of which are now employed for 
the covering of engine shed roofs, work- 
shops, and other buildings, and which is 
also rapidly replacing galvanized corru- 
gated iron on account of its heat-resisting 
properties and its practically indefinite 
length of life. 

The care and upkeep of roads 
have also received Messrs. Heatly and 
Gresham 's attention, they having supplied 
a number of Messrs. Clayton and Shuttle- 
worth's steam wagons for the transport 
of stores on the North-West Frontier, to 
municipalities and to private contractors ; 
while their connection with Hill's Patent 
Vacuum Road Cleanser, Ltd., places them 


in a position to render expert advice on 
the maintenance of roads in a clean and 
dustless condition. 

The firm undtr notice have a branch in 
Bombay, where matters in connection with 
railways on the western side of India are 
given every attention. Extensive stocks 
of railway and other fittings are also held 
in that city, in which the offices of the 
company are located at 75 Hornby Road. 
These premises were opened in 1909 with 
a view of extending operations in that 
portion of India, and their establishment 
has fully justified the venture. 

gardens, and collieries. They also act as 
managing agents for the Star Foundry 
Company, of Lillooah, who have a large 
business in cast and wrought-iron work 
of all descriptions. 

In 1916, Mr. Holmes, in conjunction 
with Mr. J. H. Simpson and Babu 
Mahendra Nath Dutt, initiated the 
Britannia Brass Foundry at 5, Bhowani- 
pore Road, Calcutta, for the manufacture 
of all kinds of brass articles, specializing 
particularly in art brass and copper work. 

The company, although in its infancy, 
has already carried out some important 

I. Kolxdry at Ulooaii. 2. Britannia Fouxprv at Bhownipore, Calcutta, 


This firm was established by Mr. 
Charles H. Holmes, at 15 Canning Street, 
Calcutta, on January i, 191 5, in conjunc- 
tion with Mr. A. D. Wilson, of loi 
Leadenhall Street, London, E.C., who acts 
as the representative and correspondent 
of the firm in England. 

Shortly after their establishment, Mr. 
Holmes and Mr. Wilson purchased the 
goodwill and trade marks of the busmess 
of Messrs. J. H. Elliott & Co., Ltd., of 
Birmingham, who for many years had been 
trading as merchants in India with branch 
offices and connections in the principal 
trade centres in that country. 

In addition to trading as import metal 
and hardware merchants, Messrs. Holmes, 
Wilson & Co. carry on an extensive local 
trade, principally with railways, tea 

art brass work for the Alliance Bank of 
Simla, the Government House at Banki- 
pore, and other establishments. 

The telegraphic address of the firm is 
" Benelliott," Calcutta. 


The headquarters of this corporation 
are at Hongkong, but branches or agen- 
cies have been established at Amoy, 
Bangkok, Batavia, Bombay, Calcutta, 
Canton, Colombo, Foocjiow, Hamburg, 
Hankow, Hongkew (Shanghai), Harbin 
(Manchuria), Ilo-ilo, Ipoh, Johore, Kobe, 
Kuala Lumpur, London, Lyons, Malacca, 
Manila, Nagasaki, New York, Pekin, 
Penang, Rangoon, Saigon, San Francisco, 
Shanghai, Singapore, Sourabaya, Tientsin, 

Taipeh, Tsingtau, and Yokohama. Every 
description of banking and exchange 
business is carried on, including the 
negotiation and collection of bills, the 
issue of letters of credit for the accom- 
modation of clients who travel in various 
parts of the world, the payment of inter- 
est on fixed deposits, and the safe custody 
of title-deeds, shares, and other securities. 
Credits are granted on approved securi- 
ties, and interest is allowed on daily 
balance of current accounts. The ninety- 
ninth report of the directors and a state- 
ment of accounts for the half year ending 
on December 31, 19 14, were presented 
to a general meeting of shareholders held 
at Hongkong on the 20th of February, 
and it was shown that the net profits 
for that period, including a balance 
brought forward, and after paying all 
charges, deducting interest paid and due, 
and making provision for bad and doubt- 
ful accounts and contingencies, amounted 
to $5,894,227. After deducting the re- 
muneration to directors, there remained a 
sum sufficient for the payment of a divi- 
dend of £2 3s. and a bonus of 5s. per 
share, leaving a balance of $2,607,274 to 
be carried to new profit and loss accounts. 
In order to effect adjustments caused by 
the writing down of Consols, and to 
enable the reserve fund to be maintained 
at the sum of £1,500,000, war loan 3^ per 
cent, stock was purchased, and this left 
the amount of " other sterling securities " 
at £371,100. The whole of this expendi- 
ture was provided for out of the earnings 
of the half year. 

The London bankers of the corpora- 
tion are the London, County, and West- 
minster Bank, Ltd. 

The accounts, which were audited in 
Hongkong in the month of February 
1915, were signed by Messrs. David 
Landale, W. L. Pattenden, and P. H. 
Holyoak, directors, and by Mr. N. J. 
Stabb, the chief manager. 



Only a few months before the prepara- 
tion of this notice, Mr. George F. James 
established a business under the style of 
George F. James & Co., the firm com- 
mencing to trade as motor, mechanical, 
and electrical engineers. Premises were 
secured at 14 Wellesley Street, in Cal- 
cutta, with a staff, including the manager, 
of not more than twelve persons, but the 
sound practical experience of Mr. James, 
who has been connected with automobilisra 


, The Pkesext Premises. 2. Pkoi'Osed New Builuixg ix Dalhoisie Sji aue. 



since its introduction into India, caused 
the business to expand so rapidly that 
within a few weeks it became necessary 
to obtain a building with more accommo- 
dation, and that was secured at 46 
Wellesley Street. The firm began well 
by adopting as their motto " promptitude 
and diligence," and by coupling with it 
a determination to give careful personal 
attention to the wishes of clients, their 
name soon became a household word in 

any other form to suit the diversified tastes 
of their patrons. Special attention is given 
to ensure quality in all materials employed, 
as it is common knowledge that " tinker- 
ing " is practised by many unscrupulous 
traders, but Messrs. James & Co. point 
with pride to the names of their regular 
customers as evidence of the thorough 
manner in which they execute all orders 
entrusted to them. 

The extensive warehouses occupied by 

early forties of the nineteenth century was 
Mr. David Jardine, the founder of the 
firm of Messrs. Jardine, Skinner & Co. 
That gentleman commenced trading in 
1843 as a general merchant and commis- 
sion agent, and in January 1845 he 
admitted Mr. Charles Binny Skinner into 
partnership, the title of the firm being 
Jardine, Skinner & Co. 

The present partners of the firm are: 
Messrs. F. G. Steuart, R. Jardine Pater- 

GEO. F. 

]. Pkemisks. 




all matters pertaining to motor and elec- 
trical engineering. 

The business, firmly established on a 
sound basis, continued to grow, and once 
again the firm are compelled to look for 
considerably larger premises in order to 
provide space for the additional machinery 
which is about to be erected, and to meet 
the abnormal demands which are made 
upon them. 

There is as yet no particular type of 
motor which can claim a monopoly of 
popularity, and therefore the firm, by 
keeping in touch with leading manufac- 
turers, may be relied upon, with all pos- 
sible dispatch, to supply a car of any 
recognized build in its normal stylo, or in 

the firm are replete with a valuable stock 
of accessories of every description, and 
by forethought the management have been 
able to anticipate an adequate supply for 
a constant and cotitinuous demand. 

An idea of the extent to which the busi- 
ness has progressed may be gathered 
from the fact that the staff, which 
originally consisted of a dozen persons, 
now numbers nearly a hundred. 


."^mong the many keen and progressive 

men of business who left the Old Country 

for India for the purpose of establishing 

a commercial house in Calcutta in the 


son, and W. A. Bankier (residing in 
Europe), and Messrs. J. A. Home, F. E. 
Phillips, and P. W. Newson, of Calcutta, 
and their offices at 4 Clive Row, in that 
city, are situated in a substantial block 
of buildings specially erected for them in 
the year 1869. 

By reason of the large number of 
managing and general agencies for com- 
panies held by the firm, it follows that 
the businesses in which they are concerned 
are of an exceedingly varied character, 
and that the area over which their 
activities extend is an exceedingly wide 

In commencing with jute, which is the 
special product of the Bengal Presidency, 


' I. East Ixdiax Coal Co., Ltd.— Bararke Pits. ». East I.sdian Coal Co.. Ltd.— South Billiakke Pits. 3. Isdo-China S.N. Co., Ltd.— s.s. "Lai Sang.' 
4. 4 Clive Row, Calcutta. 5. Ebxgal Timber Co., Ltd.— Sawing Sleepers. 


I, Kamarhatty Mill— Traveller. 

Kamarhatty mill— Weavixg, 3, Kankxarrah Mill— Finishing 

4. Kanknarrah Mill— Spinning. 



the Kamarhatty Company, Ltd., may be 
mentioned as their mill was the first one to 
be erected after the industry had been 
well nigh extinguished owing to the 
abnormal increase of factories between the 
years 1872 and 1875. I" ^^^^ period 
several companies were compelled to close 
their doors, while all the others had a 
terrible struggle with the most adverse 
circumstances which had arisen. 

The Kamarhatty Company was regis- 
tered in Calcutta in the year 1877, and the 
mill at Kamarhatty on the Hooghly River 
had at that time 320 looms. Twenty 
years later these had been increased to 
500; in 1904 a new mill was erected with 
300 looms; and at the close of the year 
1916 the two factories contained a total 
of 1,710 looms and 32,632 spindles. 

The Kanknarrah Company, Ltd., was 
started in 1882, when the mill at Bhatpara 
in the district of the Twenty-four Per- 
gannas, near Calcutta, had not more than 
250 looms, although there was accom- 
modation for 420. The capital, which 
originally stood at Rs. 14,00,000, has at 
various times been increased to the present 
sum of Rs. 40,00,000. A second mill has 
been erected, necessitating additional 
looms, and the last-named have increased 
in number simultaneously with other exr 
tensions, until there is now a total of 
1,521, together with 27,720 spindles. 
The two above-mentioned companies (for 
whom Messrs. Jardine, Skinner & Co. are 
managing agents) have also jute-buying 
and baling agencies at Naraingunge and 
Chandpore working in connection, with 
their mills. 

Tea is the next commodity to be dealt 
with, and the firm now under notice are 
managing agents for the following eight 
companies: — • 

The Bengal United Tea Company, Ltd., 
was registered in London in 1897, upon 
the amalgamation of several small com- 
panies, and owns tea estates in the district 
of Darjeeling, and in Cachar and else- 
where in Assam. 

The Cachar and Dooars Tea Company, 
Ltd., registered in London in the year 
1895, are owners of tea estates in the 
district of the Dooars, and Cachar, in 

The Rydak Tea Syndicate, Ltd., ac- 
uired their two gardens, Rydak and 
Kartik, in the Dooars, in 1897, and the 
company was registered in Calcutta in the 
following year. The whole estate com- 
prises about 2,300 acres, of which nearly 
^Kjoo acres are under cultivation for tea. 


formed in 1910, have gardens at Balla- 
cherra, Narencherra, Heroncherra, and 
Panicherra, in the Surma Valley dis- 
tricts of Cachar, comprising a gross area 
of 7,500 acres, about 491 of which are 
under tea. 

The Baradighi Tea Company, Ltd., are 
owners of a tea garden of about 850 
acres at Baradighi in the Dooars. Regis- 
tration took place in Calcutta in 1893. 

The Central Cachar Tea Company, Ltd., 
was formed in 1863 for the purpose of 
taking over the tea estates of Burnie 
Braes, Mohunpore, Serispore, and Ratta- 
kandi belonging to the old Assam com- 
pany, and comprising 1,457 acres. 

The Chandypore Tea Company, Ltd., 
was registered in Calcutta in the year 
1867, and in this instance there was an 
amalgamation of the gardens known as 
Chandypore, Ballykandy, and Ferdinand- 
pore in Cachar. The estate is about 8,000 
acres in extent, of which 734 acres are 
under tea. 

The Kallinugger and Khoreel Tea Com- 
pany, Ltd., have gardens at Kallinugger, 
Khoreel, Massempore, and Kina Tillah, in 
Cachar, comprising about 640 acres. 

Messrs. Jardine, Skinner & Co. are, 
further, managing agents for the Bengal 
Timber Trading Company, Ltd., which was 
registered in 1897, upon the acquisition of 
the undertakings of the old Bengal Timber 
Trading Company, Ltd., and the Nagra 
Timber Company, Ltd. The company 
have large forest concessions over an ex- 
tensive area stretching in a northerly 
direction from near Panposh in Gangpur, 
one of the feudatory States in Northern 
Orissa, to and along the (erai of the 
Ranchi plateau, and their rights include 
the extraction of sal for the making of 
railway sleepers. In addition to the forest 
concessions the company deal largely in 
imported timbers such as teak, pine, 
padouk, and others. 

The coal-mining industry has for a 
number of years claimed the attention of 
Messrs. Jardine, Skinner & Co., and they 
are managing agents for three important 
coal companies. 

The East Indian Coal Company, Ltd., 
registered in England in 1893, have col- 
lieries in the centre of the famous Jherria 
fields in the district of Manbhum, in the 
Province of Behar and Orissa, which in- 
clude those known as Kendwadih, Khoira, 
Dheriajoba, Kurkend, Brahmanbararee, 
Bhulanbararee, Jealgorah, South Bulli- 
aree, and Pandra. The output of the 
company's collieries for some time reached 
a total of nearly 40,000 tons a month, but 


when in full work they are capable pf 
raising no less than 60,000 tons. 

The Sutkidih Coal Company, Ltd., are 
owners of mines of first-class coal in the 
Jherria fields which have an annual output 
of from 60,000 to 80,000 tons. The 
company was registered in Calcutta in 

The Bansdeopur Coal Company, Ltd., 
was registered in Calcutta at the com- 
mencement of the present year, 19 17, and 
the Bansdeopur Colliery, also situated in 
Jherria, raises from 60,000 to 80,000 tons 
of steam coal per annum. 

Messrs. Jardine, Skinner & Co. have 
for a number of years been agents in 
Calcutta for a regular service of ships to 
China, their records going back as far as 
the year 1869; this line is now the Indo- 
China Steam Navigation Company, Ltd., 
and the firm are its agents. A joint 
mail service is worked with the Af>car 
Line, whose steamers were formerly owned 
by Messrs. Apcar & Co., but now belong 
to the British Indian Steam Navigation 
Company, Ltd. The service was a few 
years ago extended to Japanese ports. 

Agencies are also held for the Pacific 
lines of the Royal Mail Steam Packet 
Company, the " Glen " Line, and the Toyo 
Kisen Kaisha, and the firm are also secre- 
taries in, Calcutta for the Calcutta -Trans- 
Pacific Conference. 

The firm are largely interested in fire 
and marine insurance, being managing 
agents for the Triton Insurance Company, 
Ltd. — the result of a combination in 1905 
of the Triton Insurance Company and the 
Eastern Insurance Company, Ltd. — and 
agents for the Manchester Assurance Com- 
pany, Ltd. (incorporated with the Atlas 
Assurance Company, Ltd.), the Canton 
Insurance Office, Ltd., the Hongkong Fire 
Insurance Company, Ltd., and the South 
British Insurance Company, Ltd. 

The firm are importers on an extensive 
scale of Manchester piece goods, while the 
chief exports consist of gunnies and tea. 

Messrs. Jardine, Skinner & Co.'s 
London agents are Messrs. Matheson & 
Co., Ltd., of 3 Lombard Street, E.C., and 
their telegraphic address is " Jardines," 
Calcutta. Their China agents are Messrs. 
Jardine, Matheson & Co., Ltd. 


It is probable that no greater change 
in any branch of industry has been more 
noticeable during the past forty or fifty 
years than that which has been manifested 
in the manner in which articles of food 

I. Tub Premises. 

2. Showroom. 3. Bonded Wakehoise. 4. collection of Kellner's Specialities. 

5 Refreshment Room at Howrah (Calcutta) Station. 




and drink have been prepared and served 
to the general public. This is the out- 
come of a truer conception of the laws 
of hygiene and sanitation ; and applied 
science has, through its multifarious chan- 
nels, been called to the aid of law-makers 
for the enforcement of medical inspec- 
tion not only of the buildings in which 
food is handled, but also of the goods 
which are intended for the public 

Prominent among merchants in the 
East who have been successful in re- 
moving all causes of complaint as to the 
manner in which tinned goods were pre- 
pared some years ago, are Messrs. G. F. 
Kellncr & Co., of Chowringhee Road in 
the city of Calcutta. They went to the 
root of the evil, and determined that at 
all costs they would completely remodel 
the various processes of selection, pre- 
paration, preservation, and packing which 
had previously been in vogue. Absolute 
purity of food was insisted upon, and 
the highest scientific skill was displayed 
in manufacturing the goods, in packing, 
and in hermetically sealing the cans or 
tins before they were allowed to be 
offered for sale. As a result of this 
extreme care, Messrs. Kellner & Co. now 
have the supreme satisfaction of seeing 
that their efforts have enabled them to 
place before the public, in a perfectly 
fresh and palatable condition, certain 
delicacies, as well as the more solid foods, 
of the leading countries of the world. 
Public opinion — an unerring guide — has 
voted solidly for " Kellners," and as a 
consequence the trade of the firm in this 
particular branch has increased to such 
an e.xtent that they are justified in saying 
that they have gained the confidence of 
their customers in a manner unparalleled 
by any other firm in India. 

Messrs. Kellner & Co. are, further, 
widely known as proprietors of and 
caterers for refreshment-rooms and cars 
on the East Indian, Delhi-Umbala-Kalka, 
and Simla-Kalka Railways. It must not 
be forgotten that the responsibility of 
providing meals and refreshments in 
trains in Europe is child's-play compared 
to similar duties in India. In this country 
there is a tropical climate to contend 
with ; there are endless worries insepar- 
able from the employment of native 
servants, and there are innumerable 
difficulties connected with the obtaining 
of fresh food during long journeys, but 
Messrs Kellner & Co. spare neither pains 
nor expense in order to make this depart- 
ment equally as efficient as that upon any 


other railway system in the world, and in 
this they have succeeded admirably. 

It should be added that the resources 
of this firm as caterers are not by any 
means limited to dining-cars or refresh- 
ment-rooms, as they have been entrusted 
with some of the most important contracts 
in India, among which the following may 
be instanced. They were contractors for 
the camp, in the Nepal jungles, of 
H.M. the King-Emperor, when he visited 
India as Prince of Wales ; and they sup- 
plied several other camps at the Delhi 
Durbar ; while one undertaking which is 
specially deserving of mention was the 
" Princes Restaurant " at the Minto fete 
at Cal<:utta, when dinners were served 
nightly to more than two hundred of the 
(51ite of that city, including the Vice- 
regal party and Lord Kitchener. 

Another branch of this important com- 
mercial establishment in the " city of 
palaces " is the importation of wines and 
spirits, and let it be at once understood 
that nothing less than lengthy practical 
experience, and sound judgment in blend- 
ing, maturing, and bottling would have 
enabled Messrs. Kellner & Co. to reach 
the proud position which they occupy 
to-day as the leading firm of wine and 
spirit merchants in Eastern India. 

Wines, such as port, sherry, and 
Madeira, are imported in bulk, and as 
during the voyage they obtain an in- 
creased maturity equivalent to about 
50 per cent, of their original value, they 
can be bottled in the firm's godowns 
as required, with the assurance that 
freshness and quality cannot be sur- 

The firm's bonded warehouses in Cal- 
cutta contain an enormous reserve of a 
variety of Highland malt and other 
whiskies, and their sixty years of ex- 
perience place them in a unique position 
with regard to blending and bottling in a 
manner suited to the Indian climate. The 
last two-mentioned processes are carried 
out under the immediate supervision of 
expert Europeans, and each cask is sub- 
mitted to a thorough test before any of 
the spirit is withdrawn for consumption. 
Some of the favourite brands issued by 
Messrs. Kellner are: "O.H.M.S.," 
" Green Seal," " Red Seal," and " White 
Seal," and as a proof of their popularity 
it may be said that the quantity of 
whisky imported by this firm is three 
times greater than that of their nearest 

Agencies are held for the following 
w«ll-known shippers : Pommery, Et 


Greno, Ayala & Co., St. Marceaux & Co., 
Lalande et Cie, Bordeaux ; Marie et Fils, 
Beaunc ; Mackenzie & Co., Jerez de la 
Frontera ; Mackenzie DriscoU & Co., 
Oporto ; Blandy Brothers, Madeira ; the 
Distillers Company, Ltd., Edinburgh ; 
Bass & Co., Burton-on-Trent ; and many 


This company, for whom Messrs. F. W. 
Heilgers & Co., of Chartered Bank Build- 
ings, Calcutta, are managing agents, was 
incorporated on September 14, 1899, with 
an authorized capital of Rs. 15,00,000, 
divided into 10,000 ordinary shares and 
5,000 preference shares, each of Rs. 100. 

All kinds of sacking and hcssian cloth 
are manufactured in two mills situated 
side by side on the left bank of the River 
Hooghly at Titaghur, on the Eastern 
Bengal State Railway, and about 14 miles 
distant from Calcutta. The original mill, 
which may be called No. i, was started in 
the year 1899, while the foundations of 
No. 2 were laid on September 7, 191 2, 
and work was commenced about eleven 
months later. 

Referring to the whole block, it may be 
said that the buildings have been con- 
structed in a very substantial manner; 
they are fitted with the most modern type 
of jute machinery and plant, driven by 
engines of 4,600 h.p., constructed by 
Messrs. Carmichael & Co., of Dundee, 
Scotland. There are no fewer than 1,220 
looms ; there is a complete up-to-date 
installation of electric light, and a private 
fire service consisting of modern appli- 
ances, in addition to patent " Grinnell " 
sprinklers, which have been provided by 
Messrs. Mather and Piatt, Ltd., of 
London and Calcutta. 

Messrs. Heilgers & Co. have their own 
launches and lighters between the mills 
and Calcutta, whence consignments are 
shipped for export to the world's consum- 
ing markets ; and great saving in time 
and expense is secured owing to the fact 
that the mills are connected with the River 
Hooghly by a private jetty, and with the 
Eastern Bengal State Railway by a branch 
siding, these two auxiliaries facilitating 
the removal of raw material into the mills 
and the transfer of the products of the 
looms to the river boats. The daily 
average number of labourers is 7,500. 

Mill No. 1 had about 360 looms in full 
work at the close of the year 1901, but 
such steady progress was made that this 

1. KiXNiso.v JL'TE Mills, Titaghur. 2. Naiiiati Jute Mills. 




I. So. I Mill, Titaghir Paper Mills. 

a. Beater House, No. 2 Mill, Titaghir Paper Mills. 

3. Xo. 4 M.ACHINE, No. I Mill, Titaghir Paper Mills. 



number had to be increased from time to 
time, until the end of 1915 there were 
about 750. The first ordinary dividend, 
declared for the year ended on September 

30, 1901, was at th« rate of Rs. 10 per 
share, and this amount was paid during 
the four following years. It should be 
mentioned that the increase in the number 
of looms just referred to necessitated the 
expenditure of considerable sums of 
money, and that the greater portion of 
such amounts was paid out of revenue. 
During the following years the dividend 
was Rs. 12 a share, and in 191 2 it was 
Rs. 15. The capital of the company was 
increased in November 1912 (owing to the 
building of mill No. 2) to Rs. 30,00,000, 
divided into 15,000 ordinary and a similar 
number of preference shares, each of 
Rs. 100. 

The balance-sheets of that date give 
the following satisfactory particulars : On 
September 30, 1913, a sum of Rs. 25 per 
share was paid on the old ordinary share 
capital of Rs. 10,00,000, and on the new 
issu« of Rs. 5,00,000 a dividend was paid 
of Rs. 10 per share for the half-year end- 
ing on March 31, 19 14 (equal to 20 per 
cent, per annum); a similar amount was 
declared six months later; and on March 

31, 191 5, there was another payment of 
Rs. 10 per share, together with a bonus, at 
the same rate, on all ordinary shares, 
while another Rs. 30 per share has just 
been declared for the half-year ending 
September 30, 191 5, making a total dis- 
tribution of Rs. 50 per share on the 
ordinary share capital for the year ending 
on that date. 

During the whole of this period a very 
considerable amount has been transferred 
annually to depreciation and reserve fund 
accounts, and these payments are a sure 
indication of the prosperotus condition of 
the company's affairs. 

The directors of the company, whose 
registered offices are at Chartered Bank 
Buildings, Calcutta, are Sir Allan Arthur, 
Mr. T. E. T. Upton, and Mr. W. L. 


The mills owned by this company are 
situated at Hajeenuggar, near Naihati, a 
station on the Eastern Bengal State Rail- 
way, and 24 miles distant from Calcutta. 

The capital (issued) consists of ordinary 
and preference shares amounting respec- 
tively to Rs. 6,00,000 and Rs. 7,50,000, 
making a total of Rs. 13,50,000, and 

ordinary dividends have been paid as 
follows : for half-year ended December 
31, 1907, the suni of Rs. 3 per share', 
similar amounts on June 30 and Decem- 
ber 31, 1908 and 1909, Rs. 5 on 
December 31, 1914, and Rs.5 on June 30, 

The mill was erected in 1905, and in 
the following year work was commenced 
with 350 looms, but the excellent and 
up-to-date plant now consists of 430 
looms and 8,544 spindles. 

The managing agents are Messrs. 
F. W. Hqilgers & Co., and they have 
had the buildings fitted with all modern 
improvements (similar to the Kinnison 
mills), including electric lighting appa- 
ratus and a private fire service ; and as 
the mill is situated on a bank of the River 
Hooghly and practically adjoins the rail- 
way, it has the benefit of being secured', 
in the movement of produce, by a jetty 
connecting with barges and by a branch 
railway siding. 

Steam is the motive power of the 
machinery, among which is an engine (by 
Carmichael, of Dundee) of 1,800 h.p.; 
and some 12,000 tons of sacking and 
hessian goods are manufactured annually. 

About 3,800 labourers are employed 
constantly. The registered offices of the 
company are at Chartered Bank Build- 
ings, Calcutta, and the directors' are 
Messrs. Shirley Tremearne, H. F. 
Yeoman, and W. L. Carey. 


Industrial concerns in India using in- 
digenous raw materials for consumption, 
and depending almost wholly upon local 
markets for the disposal of their products, 
are remarkably few in number in com- 
parison with the vast material wealth of 
the country. 

Development has taken place in certain 
directions since the middle of the nine- 
teenth century, but much remains to be 
done, especially with regard to the manu- 
facture of articles necessary for domestic 

Printing, wrapping, writing, and other 
papers are required in business houses, 
offices, and private residences every day 
throughout the year; but large quantities 
are being imported from Europe, although 
the necessity for this should not arise, 
seeing that an abundance of suitable fibres 
are available in this country. It is there- 
fore refreshing to witness the activities 
of the Titaghur Paper Mills Company, 
J 36 

Ltd., which is one of the largest concerns 
of its kind in the British Empire, and 
which depends entirely upon local sources 
for its supplies. 

The company are owners of two mills, 
situated at Titaghur and Kankinara, which 
are 14 miles and 25 miles distant from 
Calcutta respectively, and each of these 
has four paper-making machines. 

The first-named mill was started in 
July 1884 with one machine; a second 
and third were added in 1886 and 1893; 
while the other mill, having three 
machines, was constructed in the year 
1893 by the Imperial Paper Mills Com- 
pany, who went into liquidation in 1903, 
when the property was acquired by the 
Titaghur Company. 

Three years later the Bally Paper Mills 
— the oldest in Bengal — were in the 
market, and, with the view of controlling 
production and of restricting competition, 
the Titaghur directors purchased the 
undertaking and removed its two manu- 
facturing machines to Titaghur and 

The machinery at Titaghur is now 
driven by electricity, the power being 
derived from steam turbines, while at 
Kankinara the main drive is accomplished 
by one triple-expansion 1,100 h.p. engine 
with rope drives throughout. There are 
four Lancashire boilers working at a pres- 
sure of 100 lb., three others at 120 lb., 
and four at 160 lb. The mills not only 
have the advantage of an unfailing supply 
of water from the River Hooghly, upon 
whose bank they are erected, but they 
have, further, sidings upon the Eastern 
Bengal Railway system and river jetties 
to facilitate the dispatch of goods. 

Each property has excellent workshops 
for mechanics, blacksmiths, joiners, and 
plumbers ; the shops contain an unlimited 
supply of tools of the latest approved 
pattern, and the staff of trained work- 
people are under the constant supervision 
of four European superintendents. 

The annual output of the two mills is 
about 1 9, 000 tons, and the products, 
which are of admirable quality, comprise 
papers known as engine and tub-sized 
cream wove, cream laid, bank posts, azure 
laid, white and toned printing, coloured 
printing, white and brown cartridges, 
Badami, Manila, and glazed art. All the 
raw materials are obtained locally, and 
they consist chiefly of Sabai grass, hemp, 
and cotton and jute rags; but when the 
price of sulphite wood is suitable certain 
quantities are imported, though the mills 
are in no way dependent upon this supply. 


The labour question here is not the 
same serious difficulty as it is in many 
parts of India, and even in Bengal, hence 
it is tliat the company have no trouble in 
obtaining a sufficient number of intelligent 
workmen who readily adapt themselves to 
all the processes of manufacture. Climatic 
conditions naturally have a somewhat 
prejudicial effect upon the physical 
powers of the average Indian labourer, 
and thus it is found that three nativeiS 
are required at Titaghur to accomplish 
the same amount of work as would be 
done by one operative in an English 

The European staff — consisting of 
married and single men — have been pro- 
vided by the company with comfortably 
furnished dwelling-houses, and they 
reciprocate the thoughtful care of the 
directors by vieing with one another in 
making their quarters as neat and 
attractive as possible. 

Each mill has a soda-recovery plant on 
the multiple evaporator principle, and a 
thoroughly efficient fire service gives the 
utmost protection to employees as well 
as to the premises and their contents, 
while ample accommodation in the shape 
of godowns is provided for the storage 
of raw materials, chemicals, and products 
of the mills. In short, the whole concern 
compares most favourably with others of 
its kind in Europe or elsewhere. 

The Titaghur Paper Mills Company, 
Ltd., with head offices at Chartered Bank 
Buildings, in Calcutta (the managing 
agents being Messrs. F. W. Heilgers & 
Co.), was registered in the year 1882, the 
local directors Ix-ing Mr. Guy Shorrock, 
the Hon. J. C. Shorrock, Mr. R. H. A. 
Gresson, Mr. Shirley Tremearne, and a 
member of the firm. The general manager 
at the mills is Mr. William Bryce. 



Dairying is not, and it is doubtful if 
it ever can be, carried on in India as it 
is in New Zealand, Australia, the British 
Isles, and in many other countries of 
Europe where this exceedingly profitable 
industry is conducted on truly scientific 

There are many conditions existing in 
India which seem to preclude all possi- 
bility of its becoming a payable branch 
of agriculture, and in the forefront of un- 
favourable features is the climate of this 
vast country. There are huge tracts where 

ie intense heat dries up all vegetation, 

to starvation; then there are monsoons 
which turn thousands of acres into huge 
lakes, or they form roaring torrents of 
water which sweep away herds, flocks, and 
studs; and finally the indigenous cattle 
consist very largely of animals which are 
unable to yield returns of greater value 
than the cost of their keep. It must be 
remembered that dairying is largely a 
question of feeding, and in order that a 
cow may give a large quantity of milk, 
rich in butter fat, it must have good food. 
Dairying as an industry is inseparable 
from scientific agriculture, and with agri- 
cultural methods such as are commonly 
practised in India it is obviously impos- 
sible to expect great things at present. 

Then again, there is an unusually large 
proportion of small holdings — plots they 
are in reality, but called " holdings " by 
courtesy, upon which it would be nothing 
short of a miracle for a single cow to be 
reared. At the same time it is admitted 
that one does occasionally see a dairy 
farm conducted on modern principles, but 
they are few and far between, a leading 
directory stating that there are not more 
than about eighty in the whole of India. 

One of the principal dairy farmers in 
India is Mr. Edward Keventer, of the 
Aligarh Dairy Farm in the United Pro- 
vinces of Agra and Oudh, who has similar 
concerns at Ballygunge, in the muni- 
cipality of Tollygunge, near Calcutta, and 
at Delhi, Simla, Karachi, and Darjeeling. 

Mr. Keventer experienced the greatest 
difficulty in obtaining land for a farm near 
Calcutta, but eventually he succeeded in 
purchasing about fifteen acres of land at 
Ballygunge, about five miles from the city, 
and as the area is so small it can only be 
regarded as a kind of exercising place 
for the cattle. A small quantity of arti- 
ficial food is produced, but the major por- 
tion is purchased elsewhere. 

There are about a hundred cows in full 
milk, the majority of which are of the 
Montgomery or Hissar strains, and the 
whole of the milk is sent twice daily to 
the proprietor's retail shop in Lindsay 
Street, Calcutta. A couple of fine bulls 
are kept on the farm, but Mr. Keventer 
draws largely upon his stud property at 
Aligarh for newly calved cows to fill 
vacancies at Ballygunge. 

An imported Ayrshire bull was used, 
as an experiment, at Tara Devi Farm, 
Simla, and the heifers resulting from the 
cross give great promise of becoming very 
valuable cows for dairy purposes. 

The dairy is a model of cleanliness; 
there is an abundance of fresh air, and 


the cemented floors are constantly washed 
with a plentiful supply of water. All 
pails, bottles, tins, and other utensils are 
thoroughly cleansed twice daily; they are 
first rinsed out with clean water, then they 
are placed in a tub containing water with 
an admixture of soda, in which the 
interiors are steamed three times; that 
operation is followed by a washing with a 
solution of Condy's fluid, then they are 
carefully brushed out with freshwater, and 
finally they are sterilized. 

Few dairies can boast of such complete 
processes of purification, and this fact — 
coupled with the extremely satisfactory 
quality of the milk — accounts for the fact 
that Mr. Keventer always has a long list 
of names of persons waiting to become 
regular customers. 

A steam boiler is used for providing a 
sufficient supply of hot water, and an oil 
engine is employed for cutting fodder and 
crushing grain. 

Mr. Keventer realizes that the most pro- 
fitable cow is very rarely the heaviest 
milker, and that the only method of ascer- 
taining whether an animal is paying its 
way is to keep careful records of the tests 
made of its daily yield. The milk of 
each cow is weighed as soon as it is given, 
and a discrepancy between the yields of 
successive days is followed by a strict 
examination of the manner in which the 
servants perform the operation of milking. 
When the process of testing reveals the 
fact that there is a diminution in the per- 
centage of butter fat, a change of diet 
may be tried, but the more usual plan 
is to replace the cow by a newly calved 

Mr. Keventer exercises the greatest care 
in the selection of his breeding stock, and 
bulls as well as cows must give evidence 
that they belong to good milking strains. 

The large shed which is used at milk- 
ing and feeding times consists of a cor- 
rugated iron roof supported on substan- 
tial brick pillars, and the cows are chained 
on either side of a cemented double 
manger which runs the whole length of 
the building, while the floor and drainage 
channels are also of brickwork. 

There is another shed of smaller dimen- 
sions, together with a few well-constructed 
separate enclosures, or loose boxes, which 
are occupied by about sixty calves and 
young heifers. The floors of all build- 
ings are kept scrupulously clean by wash- 
ing and scrubbing, and all superfluous 
water is quickly removed along the 
numerous excellent channels which have 
been constructed. 

I, The Calcitta Shop (Lindsay Street). 2. Ballyglnge Farm. 3, Ballvglnge Farm Cattle. 

5. Headquarters, Aligarh, UP. 0. i.n the Dairy. 

4. Ballyginge Farm Cattle. 



Few farm servants can boast of finer 
or more airy quarters, with brick walls, 
corrugated iron roofs, and cemented floors, 
than those here provided, but Mr. 
Keventer believes in doing things 
thoroughly, and he has no sympathy with 
primitive bamboo or grass huts with 
ordinary mud floors. 

The farm, which is ably managed by 
Mr. R. VV'ernlund, is connected by tele- 
phone with the retail stores in Calcutta. 

Mr. Keventer's dairy stores in Calcutta 
are situated at 6 Lindsay Street, a busy 
thoroughfare in the centre of the city and 
almost adjoining the Sir Stewart Hogg 

The fresh milk yielded at Ballygunge is 
sent twice daily to the stores for dispatch 
to the owner's regular customers, while 
daily supplies of sterilized milk, JFresh 
butter in packets and tins, and of cream 
and cream cheese are received from 
.•Vligarh. Ice chests are kept in the shop 
for the storage of butter, cheese, and 
cream, and a large number of bottles of 
sterilized milk are always on hand in order 
that extra demands may be fully met. 

A very extensive connection has been 
established between the stores and ship- 
ping authorities, the principal hotels, 
restaurants, clubs, and scholastic and other 
institutions, while dozens of bottles of 
sterilized milk are — in normal times- 
supplied to persons who are taking 
young children to European and other 

Mr. Keventer is agent for the Dairy 
Supply Company, Ltd., of London, and 
keeps in stock a large quantity of dairy 
appliances, such as " Alfa-Laval " cream 
separators, pasteurizers, coolers, milk and 
cream vessels of all descriptions, milk- 
testing appliances and other sundries, 
while he is also agent for the well-known 
Darjeeling tea obtained from the Lopchu 
Estate belonging to Messrs. Langmore 

Mustard oil for cooking, medical, and 
other purposes (manufactured at the 
Aligarh farm) is also kept for sale in the 

Scores of medals and certificates have 
been awarded to Mr. Keventer's produce 
at exhibitions, and the proprietor has had 
the honour of receiving appointments as 
purveyor to His Majesty the King- 
Emperor, King George V, the Right Hon. 
Baron Hardinge of Penshurst, G.C.LE., 
G.C.S.L, the Right Hon. the Earl of 
Elgin, P.C, the Right Hon. the Earl of 
Minto, P.C, and a number of other 
notable personages. 


The manager of the stores is Mr. A. 


The premises at 4 Fairlie Place, Cal- 
cutta, occupied by Messrs. Kilburn & Co., 
general merchants and agents, were in 
existence when Calcutta was in the 
making, when the mud-staimed waters of 
the Hooghly were free from intrusions by 
ocean-going cargo or passenger steamers, 
and when the pioneers of industrial enter- 
prise in Bengal were few in number. The 
very walls must be saturated with his- 
tory, and if it were possible to glean 
secrets from them there would be revealed 
many stories of mercantile enterprise and 
of vicissitudes in commercial life; but as 
far as Messrs. Kilburn & Co.'s property 
is concerned there can be no more soul- 
stirring episode than that which occurred 
during the Mutiny, when a meeting of 
merchants was held in the old drawing- 
room to consider the question of defence, 
with the result that Mr. Edward Dunbar 
Kilburn was instrumental in enrolling the 
Calcutta Volunteer Cavalry for service in 
case of necessity. 

The firm was founded in the year 1842 
by Mr. C. E. Schoene, who opened ofiices 
at 4 Garstin's Place, business premises 
at 4 Fairlie Place, and godowns at the 
last-named address and in Clive Street. 
Mr. E. D. Kilburn commenced his busi- 
ness career in London with his uncle, who 
was trading in silk and silk piece goods, 
and on his arrival in India, in 1847, he 
at once entered into commercial relation- 
ships with Mr. Schoene, who admitted 
him as partner a couple of years later, 
the style of the firm being Schoene, 
Kilburn & Co. 

The partners confined their early busi- 
ness transactions to commission agencies, 
and to orders for produce and sales of 
imported goods. 

With regard to indigo, the firm em- 
ployed an expert during the summer 
months, who visited continental merchants 
dealing in this substance in order to 
ascertain their probable requirements, and 
the latter were met by Messrs. Schoene 
and Kilburn purchasing the necessary 
quantity at the autumn sales in Calcutta. 

Silk and silk piece goods were pur- 
chased respectively in France and 
England, cotton was shipped against 
orders from Liverpool, and rice was sent 
to Melbourne and to Colombo. Orders 
for jute were obtained by an agent Sn 
Dundee, under cover of credit with 


London bankers ; shellac, lac-dye, saf- 
flower, and other produce were shipped 
in small quantities ; hides were consigned 
to London and the continent of Europe; 
and opium was sent upon instructions 
from firms of merchants in Shanghai. 

The goods imported and sold on com- 
mission about this time included cotton 
goods and yarns, French wines and 
brandies in large quantities, occasional 
copper consignments from Melbourne, 
and silk filatures from Messrs. Springfield 
Son and Nephew, London. The business 
of the firm expanded very rapidly during 
the first 20 years of the partnership, and 
it is noted that in the year 1865 Messrs. 
Schoene, Kilburn & Co. shipped in Cal- 
cutta a greater quantity of indigo than 
any other firm. 

It was in or about that year, too, that 
the firm opened a branch establishment 
at Manchester, in England, under the 
management of Mr. Tolputt, who had 
been connected with the Calcutta house 
for a number of years, and this step had 
a very far-reaching effect upon the turn- 
over of the firm. Advance in one direc- 
tion led to a corresponding movement in 
another, as the firm opened up a trade 
in the mofussil which has, in its growth, 
exceeded all expectations. 

Indigo planters were at this time 
making huge annual profits, and many 
of them, confident in the security of their 
invested capital, resided in England, 
leaving the supervision of their concerns 
to managers whose names are still held 
in the highest esteem, especially in Behar 
and Orissa. Parenthetically, it should be 
mentioned here that this prosperity con- 
tinued, with few interruptions, until the 
year 1899, when the discovery of syn- 
thetic dye temporarily checked the 
cultivation of indigo and caused planters 
to resort to the manufacture of sugar. 
The export of this dye continued to be 
one of the most important branches of 
the firm's business, although consign- 
ments of general produce, including 
Bengal silk, cotton, hides, and tobacco, 
were sent more frequently and in larger 
quantities to Europe. 

In the earlier years of the firm's exist- 
ence, shipping matters generally played 
an important part in general commercial 
enterprise, and Messrs. Schoene, Kilburn 
& Co. became representatives of the then 
famous East Indiamen frigate-built ships, 
among which were the Hotspur and St. 
Lawrence (commanded respectively by 
those well-known mariners Captains 
Henry and Joseph Toynbee), the Lord 


Warden (Captain Smith), the Superb 
(Captain Jones), the Winchester, Essex, 
and many others. Further, the firm had 
the honour of receiving in Calcutta 
waters, in the year 1870, the first 
steamers of the Blue Cross Line which 
made the voyage to India by way of the 
Suez Canal. 

The earliest direct agencies undertaken 
by the firm were the Durrung Tea Com- 
pany, Ltd., in the year 1865, and the 
Assam Company, in 1867; while now 
(1916) they are managing agents for the 
India General Navigation and Railway 
Company, Ltd., which issues bookings on 
steamships and railways between Calcutta 
and Eastern Bengal, Assam, Cachar, and 
the Ganges ; the Raneegunge Coal 
Association, Ltd. ; the Indian Collieries 
Syndicate, Ltd.; the Bansra Coal Com- 
pany, Ltd. ; the Darjeeling Tea and Cin- 
chona Association, Ltd. ; the Kuturi Tea 
Company Ltd. ; the Kornauli Association, 
Ltd.; Kodala, Ltd.; the Pashok Tea 
Company, Ltd.; Oodaleah, Ltd.; the 
Pahargoomiah Tea Association, Ltd. ; the 
Rampore Tea Estate, Ltd.; the Sylhet 
Lime Company, Ltd. ; the Russa En- 
gineering Works, Ltd.; the Assam Com- 
pany; the Lopchu Tea Estate; the New 
Terai Association, Ltd.; the Maul vie Tea 
Estate; the Norwich Union Fire Insur- 
ance Society, Ltd. ; the Commercial 
Union Assurance Company, Ltd.; the 
Diamond Drill Syndicate; Messrs. H. 
Bull & Co., Ltd. ; and the Crushed Lime- 
stone Syndicate ; while they are general 
agents and supervising engineers of the 
Indian Electric Supply and Traction 
Company, Ltd. 

The changes in the personnel of the 
partnership have been numerous during 
the three-quarters of a century of the 
firm's history, and the following refer- 
ences have been obtained from private 
documents. Mr. C. E. Schoene com- 
menced business in 1842; he admitted 
Mr. Edward Dunbar Kilburn as a partner 
on May l, 1849, and the latter retired in 
1900. Messrs. George Adie and R. L. 
Eglinton joined the firm after the retire- 
ment of Mr. F. A. Jung in 1863; Mr. 
Robert Brown Mackay and Henry Tolputt 
were given shares in the business in 1865 ; 
Mr. Henry Francis Brown held interests 
from May 1866 until his retirement in 
April 1911; Messrs. W. R. Brown and 
Charles Kilburn were admitted in May 
1873 ; Messrs. John Macfadyen and 
Alfred Simson followed in 1883; Mr. 
William Henry Chcetham in 1889; 
Messrs. W. D. Kilburn and Charles Con- 

ning Kilburn in May 1893; Sir Ralph 
P. Ashton in 1900; Messrs. Charles 
John Elton and Seton George Legge 
Eustace in 191 1; while the partners at 
the present time are Messrs. A. Simson, 
W. H. Cheetham, C. C. Kilburn, Sir 
R. P. Ashton, Kt., C. J. Elton (London), 
S. G. L. Eustace, and E. P. J. de B. 
Oakley (Calcutta). 

Mr. Edward Dunbar Kilburn, who 
played a most important part in the 
establishment and the subsequent activi- 
ties of the firm now under notice, had 
an almost inexhaustible fund of historical 
incidents relating to the early days of 
Calcutta, but he will be best remembered 
for the spirit of intense loyalty which he 
exhibited during the troublous days lead- 
ing up to the Mutiny. Mr. Kilburn went 
on a business visit to China in the year 
1856, and upon hearing, on his return, of 
the disaffection which was spreading in 
certain parts of India, he called upon 
Lord Canning at Government House and 
offered his personal services, and any 
other help which he might be able to 
obtain, in order to protect the lives of 
peaceable and law-abiding citizens. The 
result of the interview was that Mr. 
Kilburn, with characteristic enthusiasm, 
summoned a meeting of leading commer- 
cial men, and the old drawing-room in 
Fairlie Place witnessed the formation of 
the Calcutta Volunteer Cavalry, of which 
Mr. Kilburn was gazetted captain. This 
gentleman lavishly spent both time and 
money in assisting the Government to 
suppress disloyalty, and the services 
rendered by him were so highly appre- 
ciated by the Viceroy that the latter 
decided to recommend Mr. Kilburn for 
the distinguished honour of a Com- 
panionship of the Bath. Lord Canning, 
however, died before effect could be given 
to his desire, and thus a patriotic and 
devoted servant of the Crown was denied 
that official recognition which his meri- 
torious conduct richly deserved. 



The Russa Engineering Works, Ltd., 
was founded as a private company in 
1904, but it may be described as a branch 
of the engineering department of Messrs. 
Kilburn & Co., of 4 Fairlie Place, Cal- 
cutta, who are now the managing agents 
of the concern. 

Originally the bulk of the work under- 
taken consisted of contracts for electric 
installations in mills and factories 

throughout India, and Messrs. Kilburn & 
Co. were the pioneers of electric enter- 
prises in the Indian Empire. In about 
the year 1898 they obtained the conces- 
sion for the public supply of electricity 
in Calcutta, and they floated and were 
the first managing agents of the Calcutta 
Electric Supply Corporation, Ltd. The 
installation of electric lights and fans in 
Calcutta was an important branch of their 
business, and this branch is continued, 
coupled with the work of complete elec- 
tric installations in the collieries of 
Bengal and in jute and cotton mills. 

The advent of the motor-car neces- 
sitated the building of workshops, and 
the mechanical engineering side of the 
Russa Engineering Works started opera- 
tions with a small plant consisting of 
three machines. The work turned out 
gave such satisfaction to clients that 
extensions of the premises soon became 
necessary. These were duly carried out 
prior to the year 1906, when the original 
company was formed into a limited 
liability company, with a capital of 
Rs. 3,25,000, and from that date the 
works have steadily increased in size and 
prosperity. In 191 2 the works consisted 
of 8 bays, three of which were 
occupied by the machine-shop, holding 
22 machine tools of various types, and 
the remainder of the buildings were 
devoted to motor-car repair work. 

At this date there was a large tank on 
the west side of the actual buildings, but 
this was filled up in order to provide 
ground for further extensions; and at the 
end of 19 1 5 the premises consisted of 
13 bays, arrangements having been made 
for large stores and car body building 
and painting departments. In this 
department there are two universal wood- 
working machines, circular and band 
saws, and all types of motor-car bodies 
are now being made and completed 
throughout under expert European super- 

A special type of body has been 
adopted for fitting to the standard Ford 
model chassis, and a large demand has 
been met for high-class body-work of this 
description. Platform and charabanc 
bodies are also under construction for 
fitting to commercial cars' chassis, and 
this business, too, shows an ever- 
increasing growth throughout India. 
During the year 191 5 the machine-shop 
had been expanded to four bays, and 
further provision having been found 
necessary for repairs to motor-cars and 
lorries (particularly the latter), a new 


I. General View of Works from Roadway. 2. Motor-car Repair Shop. 3. View ok Machine Shop. 

4. View of Machine SHor. 



erecting and testing shed was added to 
the buildings early in 191 6. This shed 
measures 150 feet by 50 feet, with 
height of 40 feet, and is probably the 
largest building in India devoted to the 
special purpose of testing and overhauling 
cars. The works also comprise a large 
blacksmith's shop with pneumatic-power 
hammer, as well as an up-to-date foundry, 
which deals with all the castings required 
by the machine-shop, whether in cast iron, 
brass, or gun-metal. It should be noted 
that very special attention is given in this 
foundry to high-class castings for gear 
wheels used in jute-mill machinery. 

One might observe here that it is a 
matter of general interest to note the in- 
creased size and output of the machine- 
shop of the Russa Engineering Works, 
Ltd. Primarily the machine-shop was 
opened to meet the demands of the motor- 
car repairing department for spare parts 
of cars, and it was therefore equipped 
with the latest type of machine tools 
and gear-cutting plant, the number of 
machines in work in 191 1 being 20. 
About this time the question of manufac- 
turing spares for jute-mill machinery was 
taken in hand, and the result of the first 
move in this direction was an immediate 
and ever-growing demand for spares, such 
as necks and step bearings, spinning 
spindles, cop spindles, faller bars, roving 
spindles, roving necks, sack sewing- 
machine gears (worm and bevel), mangle 
pinions, and other accessories. This 
demand was met by the introduction of 
new machinery of the very latest types, 
comprising turret and engine lathes, also 
universal milling machines and grinding 
plant, and the machine-shop has now 
the most up-to-date and complete plant 
for light, accurate machine work in 

The following machinery has been 
erected : engine lathes, 22; turret lathes, 
II; machines for milling, 4; gear cut- 
ting, 3 ; drilling, 5 ; grinding, 8 ; 
woodworking, 4 ; slotting, i ; hand- 
tajxping, 2 ; hand-milling, 2 ; power 
metal saws, 2; straightening presses, 2; 
hardening furnaces, 2. The latest 
methods have also been adopted for 
hardening gears by the use of gas-fired 
furnaces, controlled by electrical pyro- 
meters, and a very high reputation has 
been gained for gear cutting of all types. 
Motor-car gears naturally predominate, 
but worm gears for lifts, collieries, and 
heavy duties generally are now part of 
the regular output of the shops. Oxy- 
acetylene plant has also been installed. 

and is largely used for repairing broken 
castings in cast iron and aluminium. 

Owing to the special facilities afforded 
by this machine-shop, the car-repairing 
department has also steadily increased its 
output, and holds a very high reputation 
all over India. The ever-increasing 
demand for motor-cars in Calcutta during 
the past five years has been met by the 
Russa Engineering Works taking up 
agencies for such well-known cars as the 
Siddeley-Deasy, the Rover, the Humber, 
the Briton, the Autocarrier, and the 
Singer cars from England, and the Hud- 
son, the Jeffery, the Regal, and the all- 
popular Ford car from America. The 
sales of this last make of car have 
now reached an average of 30 per 

Commercial cars have also not been 
overlooked, and the firm hold the agency 
for the famous Albion lorries, which are 
so highly appreciated by the War Office 
in England that the factory is solely 
engaged in supplying their requirements, 
and are unable to accept orders for ship- 
ment to India. The Chase motor-lorry 
is also being imported from America in 
the i-ton, 2-ton, and 35-ton models, and 
many sales have been effected of these 
useful cars. In general, it can be said 
that the Russa Engineering Works, Ltd., 
have kept in touch with ,all the latest 
movements in the motor engineering 

Reference has already been made to the 
very fine machine-shop installed at the 
works, and since February 1915 the major 
portion of its plant has been solely 
engaged on munition work. A night shift 
has been in operation since July 191 5, 
and a steadily increasing output is given 
to the Government authorities. Primarily 
the plant is engaged in manufacturing 
fuse needle holders for shrapnel shell, and 
at a recent date large orders have been 
received from the Gun Carriage Factory. 
Jubbulpore, for elevating gear for gun- 
carriages, which work involves the utmost 
accuracy in screw cutting, gear making, 
and other operations. A larger output 
on munitions work has been engaging the 
attention of the directors for some time 
past, but the management is unfortunately 
much handicapped by the shortage of 
skilled native labour at the present time 
in Calcutta. 

Agencies have been established at 
Lahore, Karachi, and Dibrugarh, thus 
affording facilities for the numerous 
clients of the company who live at a 
distance from the capital city. 


The managing agents of the company 
are Messrs. Kilburn & Co. 


W. LESLIE & CO. m 

Chowringhee Road, Calcutta, contains 
some remarkably fine residential mansions 
and business establishments, and promi- 
nent among the latter are the two capa- 
cious buildings, 3 and 5, occupied as 
shops and storerooms by Messrs. W. 
Leslie & Co., hardware and metal mer- 
chants, mechanical engineers. Government 
contractors, and agents for motor-cars 
and cycles. Their works are situated at 
60 Dhurrumtollah Street, and the shops 
for blacksmiths, fitters, turners, foundry- 
men, and plumbers are fitted with 
thoroughly up-to-date machinery, which 
is controlled by European engineers. 
The firm's godowns in Mali Sil Street 
are connected with the premises, 3 
Chowringhee Road, and they are literally 
packed from roof to floor with an almost 
endless quantity of hardware goods of 
all descriptions, of which Messrs. Leslie 
& Co. are said to be the largest importers 
in Calcutta. 

The business, established in the year 
1890, has increased with great rapidity, 
and, in addition to the magnitude of their 
trade relationships in every district in 
India, the firm are now supplying 
immense quantities of stores for the 
military and railway authorities. It is 
only recently that the British Government 
ordered piping, many miles in length, for 
war purposes in Mesopotamia, but this is 
only an individual item culled from a 
lengthy list of orders for goods of a 
similar character. 

It is extremely difficult to know where 
to commence in attempting to give even a 
brief description of the mass of the con- 
tents of Messrs. Leslie & Co.'s premises. 
They supply portable, fixed, vertical, and 
horizontal steam engines, vertical and 
other boilers, oil engines, saw benches, 
screw-cutting lathes, pneumatic-power 
hammers, and Morgans' crucibles and 
furnaces. The motor department com- 
prises Scripps, Booth, Singer, Belsizc. 
Delage, Hotchkiss, Rudge-Multi, and 
other motor-cycles, auto-wheels, oil and 
acetylene lamps, tyres, saddles, and, in 
fact, numerous accessories for motor-cars. 
A special feature is made of the sale of 
tools for carpenters, blacksmiths, plate- 
layers, tinsmiths, and boilermakers, and 
they are agents for Messrs. Cammell, 
Laird & Co.'s files, Sir Joseph Jonas and 
Colver's files and steel sets of engineering 

2, Showroom (Klrnishing). 

3. Showroom (Motor-cars, Bicvcles, and Typewriters;. 
5. Machine Tool Department, 

4, Metals and Timber Store, 



and carpenters' tools. Household fur- 
nishings and appointments include writing 
and roll-top desks, silver and electro- 
plated goods, chairs, tables, brackets, 
lamps, cutlery, ice-chests, churns, glass- 
ware, bedsteads, mattresses, matting, and 
cooking utensils of all descriptions. The 
requirements of planters, contractors, and 
agriculturists have been fully considered, 
and one can select the best types of 
weighing machines, axes, bellows, belting, 
benches, cement, chains, forges, hammers, 
tea sieves (imported from Japan), 
pruning knives, lawn-mowers, kodallies, 
jacks, crushing-mills, rice-huUers, hoes, 
spades, and almost every description of 
machinery. The godowns contain a very 
large quantity of bolts and nuts, the 
largest stock of wire nails in India, more 
than loo tons of paint, iron rods, wire 
for fencing, barbed wire, iron hooping 
for tea chests, pumps, cisterns, files, and 
a miscellaneous assortment of hardware 

Messrs. W. Leslie & Co. are agents in 
Calcutta for the famous " Underwood " 
and " Bijou " typewriters, each of which 
has become exceedingly popular in its 
own sphere of work. The foolscap model 
(No. 5) of the first-named machine takes 
a sheet of paper 10 in. in width, and it is 
found in nearly all Government offices 
in India as well as in many other coun- 
tries. Other sizes are kept in stock, and 
one of these will write a single line not 
less than 24 in. in length. Grand and 
gold medals, prizes, and diplomas have 
been awarded to the manufacturers during 
the past fifteen or twenty years at exhi- 
bitions held at places situated so widely 
apart as Paris, Buffalo, Venice, Rome, 
St. Louis, Jamestown, Oregon, Petrograd, 
Philadelphia, Buenos Ayres, Barcelona, 
Glasgow, and London. 

The " Bijou " machine, weighing about 
8 lb., is a great boon to the traveller, as 
its bulk can be so reduced that it can be 
fitted into a neat and compact leather 
travelling case, similar to a handbag, and 
when folded it measures only loj by 5 
by 8 in. More than sixteen thousand of 
these typewriters have been sold in the 
course of twelve months. 

One might extend this list almost in- 
definitely, but sufficient has been said to 
show that Messrs. W. Leslie & Co. have 
built up a very large and prosperous con- 
nection with customers in all parts of 
India, and the fact that a very 
number of their patrons have supported 
them continuously for a number of years 
is abundant evidence of the sterling 

worth of the goods sold by the firm, 
and of the careful and expeditious manner 
with which all commissions are executed. 

The proprietor of the concern is Mr. 
W. Leslie, who is assisted by his partners, 
Mr. M. J. Leslie and Mr. J. F. Greig. 

About 500 hands are employed in the 
engineering works in Dhurrumtollah 
Street, and about 150 in the shops and 
stores in Chowringhee Road. 


This company, whose head offices are 
at 35 Queen Victoria Street, London, 
E.C., had works in England, at Shadwell 
and Birmingham, before establishing their 
first factory in India in 1901, at 138 Bal- 
liaghatta Road, Calcutta, when a Linde 
Refrigerating Plant on the ammonia 
system was installed to produce 26 to 
27 tons of ice daily and with, in addition, 
refrigerated stores for about 800 tons of 
ice. In this plant two single-acting hori- 
zontal compressors were driven direct 
from the crank-shaft of a marine type 
inverted, triple-expansion, jet-condensing 
engine, working with steam at i6o lb. 
pressure from two " Economic " boilers 
fitted with return tubes. The ice was 
manufactured on the " can system " in 
blocks of 250 lb. and 18 of these cans or, 
2 tons, constituted one lift, or about one 
hour's working from the ice tank. 

In 1903 it was found that increasing 
business demanded extension of plant, and 
a second unit, almost exactly similar to 
the first, was installed, thus raising the 
ice production to 52 or 54 tons per day. 

Ten years later a third extension was 
n'.ide bringing the out-turn of ice up to 
more than 80 tons daily, but instead of 
using steam in this last unit, two Diesel 
engines were fitted, one operating the 
ammonia compressor through a rope 
drive, and the other coupled direct to a 
dynamo generating the electric current 
for driving the auxiliary gear, the electric 
ice-lifting crane, and other machinery. 
The compressors, condensers, and ice 
tank evaporators of the three units are 
so arranged as to allow the different com- 
pressors to be used in conjunction with 
any of the ice tanks or condensers. The 
ice produced is very clear and hard and 
is of a readily marketable size for all pur- 
poses, the blocks being 43 in. by 24 in. 
by 8 in., and arc easily cut to suit smaller 

In 1912 the Linde Company opened an 
ice factory at Byculla Bridge, Bombay, 

where the most modern ice-making plant 
in India was installed. This was on the 
" plate system," whereby absolutely 
transparent blocks of ice 12 in. in thick- 
ness and weighing about 5 tons each are 
made. The Bombay works can produce 
a daily quantity of 70 tons, and they also 
have refrigerated storage capacity for a 
stock of about 700 tons. Plans are 
already out for a duplication of this plant. 
Internal combustion engines are employed 
to drive the ammonia compressors and 
auxiliaries, and the engine-room is well 
laid out and ranks with the finest in India. 
In addition to ice-producing plants, the 
Linde Company have, at the same 
addresses in Calcutta and Bombay, sepa- 
rate factories wherein oxygen of high 
purity is mechanically produced from 
liquid air. The first of these works (and 
the first to be established in India) was 
started in 191 2, and for some time the 
Calcutta works forwarded supplies to 
Bombay, but as the demands for oxygen 
gas by engineering firms and shipyards 
in the latter city increased, an oxygen 
factory was built at Byculla Bridge, Bom- 
bay, in 19 1 4. The air and oxygen com- 
pressors and auxiliaries are, in both 
places, driven by internal combustion 
engines, and these works undoubtedly 
established the use of oxygen for welding 
and metal-cutting in India and developed 
its employment for other purposes, as, 
prior to their erection, all the oxygen 
for India was imported from England or 
the continent of Europe, and the freight 
and charges prohibited it from being em- 
ployed to any extent. Oxygen is supplied 
in cylinders containing 20, 40, 100, and 
200 cub. ft. at a pressure of 120 atmo- 
spheres, the two smaller sizes being used 
for medical and limelight work, and the 
two larger for welding and metal cutting. 
Describing the process of manufacture of 
the gas, notes in a Journal of Proceedings 
of the Institution of Mechanical Engin- 
eers, dated Calcutta 19 12- 13, say that 
" the plant depends upon a method by 
which a moderate amount of refrigeration, 
produced by the expansion of a gas which 
has been previously cooled, may be accu- 
mulated and intensified until it reaches 
the point at which the gas becomes liquid, 
at, or slightly above, atmospheric pres- 
sure. The expanded gas is directed over 
coils which contain the compressed gas, 
and a much lower temperature is the 
result. The intensification of cooling con- 
tinues, and the effect is so powerful that 
even the small amount of cooling, due 
to the free expansion of gas through a 

I. THE Ice Factory in Caixl-jta. 2. Oxyhf.x Factoky ix Cai.citta. 3. Some oi- thk Machinery in the Ice Factory Engine-room. 

4. General View of, Machinery in the Oxygen Factory. 5- Native Mistry .Welding by ;he Oxy-Acktu Pkcckss. 


throttle valve, may be made to liquefy 
air without using any other refrigeration. 
After passing through lime purifiers, 
atmospheric air enters the first stage of 
the air compressor, and is delivered 
through water-cooled coils before enter- 
ing the second stage. When the com- 
pressor is first started, the final pressure 
is 2,000 lb. to the sq. in., but, after 
liquefaction has taken place, the normal 
working pressure during the actual 
separation of the oxygen and nitrogen 
falls to about 720 lb. per sq. in." 

The oxygen gas is drawn by a three- 
stage compressor from a large gas-holder, 
and is compressed into steel cylinders 
to a pressure of 120 atmospheres 
(1,800 lb.) to the sq. in. 

Air contains about 79" i per cent, of 
nitrogen, and 20"9 per cent, of oxygen, 
and a healthy person consumes about 
20 ft. of the latter in the course of 24 
hours. An individual may suffer through 
the presence of noxious gases in the 
atmosphere, or through enfeebled res- 
piration, and as the inhalation of oxygen 
is then of vital importance, it will be 
understood that the company have, by 
providing this chemically pure gas (com- 
pressed into cylinders so as to be readily 
transported), furnished the medical pro- 
fession with a therapeutic agent of which 
they have not been slow to avail them- 
selves. Oxygen is now used with signal 
success in cases of asphyxia, in the treat- 
ment of wounds and sores, or for many 
maladies not connected with the respira- 
tory organs, and it is gratifying to know 
that many lives have been saved by the 
prompt administration of gas. The com- 
pany are in a position to supply, together 
•with the oxygen, the necessary india- 
rubber tubing, nipples, adjustment valves, 
and other accessories in order that the 
gas may be inhaled direct from the 
cylinder. These can be obtained from 
the works in Calcutta or Bombay. 

We now come to the consideration of 
the use of oxygen in welding joints and 
cutting metals by the oxy-acetylene blow- 
pipe process, but before entering into 
details upon this point it may be observed 
that among the purposes to which 
this practice may be advantageously 
employed arc (says the Mechanical 
Engineer's Journal above referred to) : 
the manufacture of iron or steel bolts 
as a substitute for rivets ; the repair of 
steam boilers in situ ; the manufacture 
of safes ; the fusion welding of all joints 
in metallic casks or drums ; as a substi- 
tute for rivets in their sheet-iron work ; 

for adding metal to worn parts ; the 
fusion welding of tanks and hot-water 
boilers ; the welding of hospital furni- 
ture as a substitute for joints and rivets ; 
for artistic iron work ; in welding new 
teeth in broken gear wheels ; and the 
repairing of differential and other gear 
boxes. In the year 1899 it was demon- 
strated that, after heating an iron plate 
to incandescence by means of the oxygen 
and coal-gas flame obtained with a blow- 
pipe, it was possible, by largely in- 
creasing the supply of oxygen, to " fuse " 
holes in the plate. These investigations 
paved the way for a general use of 
the blowpipe for welding purposes, and 
engineers are now discovering innumer- 
able ways in which it can be used in 
construction work as well as in general 
repairs. The Linde Company assert that 
autogenous welds can be effected by 
means of the oxy-acetylenc blowpipe 
without any injurious effect upon the 
metal, and it is now fully established 
that defects or breakages in machinery 
or plant can be remedied, and thus the 
scrap-heap is robbed of further additions. 
Engineers have repeatedly shown their 
approval of this rapid and effective 
system of welding, and the extraordinary 
demand from all parts of the world for 
blowpipes is a striking testimony to their 
worth. The Linde Company are not 
makers of dissolved acetylene, but they 
are in a position to supply cylinders of 
this agent in quantities varying from 100 
to 200 cub. ft. 

It will naturally occur to many persons 
to ask questions as to the possible 
strength of an oxy-acetylene blowpipe 
joint, and the answer would be that bars 
of Staffordshire iron, fused together by 
this system, have given tests of more than 
29 tons per sq. in. at the joint, and 
plates of iron and steel varying in thick- 
ness from 20 gauge upwards, when thus 
welded together, have proved stronger at 
the joint than in the body of the plate. 

In cutting through metal, an ordinary 
lilowpipe, with an additional passage 
through which an independent and 
separately-controlled stream of oxygen is 
supplied at the discretion of the operator, 
is employed, and this gas may be dis- 
charged through the centre of the blow- 
pipe, or the supply may be brought into 
a passage immediately behind the heating 

The Linde Company keep a large stock 

of seamless steel oxygen cylinders, gas 

pressure gauges, automatic regulators, 

" Universal " blowpipes with welding 


range on mild steel-plate, hydraulic back- 
pressure valves, self-adjusting cylinder 
stands for use in hospitals, and oxygen 
respirating apparatus for working in 
noxious or irrespirable gases, together 
with an extensive and varied assortment 
of accessories. 

Experienced workmen are sent to give 
demonstrations and instruction in the 
event of an installation of plant being 
contemplated, and visitors to the com- 
pany's works are courteously received and 
are permitted to witness the welding of 
joints and the cutting of metal or any 
other work which the blowpipe may be 
called upon to perform. 

The company are also large suppliers 
of refrigerating machinery for all pur- 
poses and accessories and stores for same. 
Machines constructed according to the 
Linde system may be seen at work in 
Delhi, Lahore, Peshawar, Allahabad, 
Lucknow, Agra, Cawnpore, Gwalior, 
Hyderabad, Meerut, Fyzabad, Mysore, 
Sealkot, Ambala-, Aligarh, Simla, Bare- 
illy, Moradabad, Jhansi, Malabar, Poona, 
Ludhiana, Surat, Chittagong, Madras, 
Rangoon, and many other places. 

The telegraphic addresses of the com- 
pany are : " Lindfrost " Calcutta and 
" Lindeice " Bombay. 


In the year 1800 a certain Rajah in 
Northern India brought across the seas 
one Jenkin Llewelyn, a Welsh artist and 
sculptor, for the purpose of utilizing his 
services in the production of a number 
of paintings and statuary work, and, on 
the termination of this engagement in the 
year 1804, Mr. Llewelyn removed to Cal- 
cutta and began to practise his art on his 
own account in a building in Bentinrk 
Street, which is now occupied by the 
Savoy Hotel. A special feature was made 
of monumental masonry, but progress was 
so disappointingly slow that two years 
later he entered into partnership with an 
undertaker named Simpson, who was then 
occupying premises (immediately oppo- 
site his own place of business), which from 
that time to this day have been in the 
hands of Llewelyn & Co. 

Incidentally it may be mentioned that 
the building tenanted by the partners 
had previously been the residence of 
Governors of Bengal, and even to-day 
(1916) one can see the old throne and 
other rooms which were used by their 
Excellencies during meetings of council. 

The style of the new firm was " Simp- 


son and Llewelyn," and unmistakable 
proof of the excellent quality of their 
work is found in the fact that memorial 
stones prepared by them more than a 
hundred years ago are still in a sound 
condition and may be inspected in the 
Old Park Street and numerous other 
burial-grounds. Mr. Simpson, unfortu- 

and an enviable reputation has been 
gained by them for the quality of the 
materials used and for the first-class 
manner in which all work is carried out. 
The firm's showrooms contain an exceed- 
ingly large quantity of decorative statuary 
and memorial stones in marble, granite, 
and stone, and their workshops — the 

theirs is " the largest concern in India 
dealing purely in sporting goods." 

The business was commenced in the 
year 1888 at the present address, in a 
very fine building situated near to the 
handsome block erected by the Govern- 
ment for the Foreign Office and Military 
Departments, and the firm began with 


I. The HE^n Ofkice. 

ely, died in 1812, and the surviving 
partner continued the business under the 
style of Llewelyn & Co. Mr. Llewelyn 
subsequently admitted two of his 
brothers, and, at a later date, two of 
his sons, into the concern, and a member 
of the family was associated with the 
firm until the death of Mr. John Griffith 
Llewelyn in 1880, when Mr. J. H. Her- 
bert became sole proprietor. Several 
other changes took place prior to the 
latter part of the year 1914, when Mr. 
James Reid, the present owner, whose con- 
nection with the firm dates from the early 
part of the year 1911, entered into sole 

Messrs. Llewelyn & Co. (whose firm 
was one of the oldest members of the 
Calcutta Trades Association) import the 
choicest marble direct from the quarries, 



largest in the trade in Calcutta — are the 
only ones of their kind in the city which 
contain machinery driven by electricity. 
The importance of the undertaking and 
funeral furnishing department is mani- 
fested by the punctilious care which is 
exercised in carrying out the desires of 
the firm's patrons, and Mr. Reid's per- 
sonal supervision of arrangements is a 
guarantee that all duties will be satis- 
factorily performed. 



It is not a difficult matter, after stroll- 
ing through the extensive premises in 
Esplanade East, Calcutta, occupied by 
Messrs. Walter Locke & Co., Ltd., to 
realize the correctness of their claim tliat 


3. IXTERioR— Polishers .vr Work. 

the importation and handling of guns and 
sporting goods generally. 

The history of the firm may be summed 
up in the one word " progress " ; their 
business having increased steadily and 
rapidly to the present time, when they 
are rightly regarded as being in the van 
of commercial enterprises in Calcutta. 

Messrs. Walter Locke & Co. are 
dealers in every description of sporting 
gear, guns, rifles, and ammunition, and 
in appliances for cricket, lawn tennis, 
bowls, fencing, rackets, hockey, Badmin- 
ton, golf, cycling, football, croquet, 
boxing, polo, and other amusements. 

The firm are agents in India for 
Messrs. Holland and Holland, Westley- 
Richards, and Cogswell and Harrison for 
guns and rifles ; and for Messrs. Kynoch, 
Eleys Ltd., and Curtis and Harvey, Ltd., 






for sporting ammunition. Guns and rifles 
recommended by the firm include : The 
H. and R. Arms Company single-barrel 
automatic ejector shot-gun, an ideal 
weapon for a shikari ; the Locke " Won- 
der " gun, 12 bore, of best English manu- 
facture ; the Locke " Improved Marvel " 
double-barrel breech -loading gun in 12, 
16, or 20 bores, specially bored for long 
range and great penetration ; Locke's 
hammerless ejector, a handsome double- 
barrel gun with latest improvements ; the 
Westley-Richards special model high- 
grade hammerless ejector gun ; the 
famous Ross high velocity rifle, noted for 
its great killing power ; the Westley- 
Richards '318 accelerated express maga- 
zine rifle ; Jafl^rey's " Mauser " maga- 
zine-action rifle '334 and '404 bores ; and 
Winchester and other first-class weapons. 
The firm carry a large stock of English 
and American revolvers by Webley, 
Colt, Ivor Johnson, Harrington, and 
Richardson, and they supply all kinds of 
cartridges, gun cases, bullets, and acces- 
sories. Other sporting requisites com- 
prise {inter alia) bullet moulds, cleaning 
rods, decoy ducks, game carriers, hog 
spears, hunting-knives, powder-flasks, 
shooting seats, and a host of other 

Messrs. Walter Locke & Co. held 
the first agency in India for Messrs. 
Slazenger & Co.'s tennis rackets and 
balls ; and it may be mentioned here 
that the latter were used for the twelfth 
successive year for the World's Chatn- 
pionship meeting in 19 13. Many other 
varieties of rackets are kept in stock, such 
as " The Spalding Gold Medal," " The 
Doherty," " The Phenomenon," " The 
Riseley," " The Demon," and others. 

This department of sporting goods of 
a general character is so well stocked 
that an accomplished athlete or the boy 
or girl emerging from the nursery would 
have little difficulty in finding exactly 
what was fancied for the development of 
already hardened muscles or for mere 
amusement during hours of cessation from 

The six-foot " blue " might look with 

casant recollections of 'Varsity days at 
a grand selection of boxing and batting 
gloves ; cricket bats by well-known 
makers would remind him of centuries 
made at Lord's or the Oval ; and he 
would gaze with keen delight upon 
fencing foils, horizontal bars, polo sticks, 
or Indian clubs ; while the youngsters 

Iould be seized with a desire to charter 


boxes of games, skipping ropes, cricket 
and crocjuet sets, footballs, and numerous 
otlier attractions. 

At this juncture one is reminded that 
when the boom in motor cycling com- 
menced in India Messrs. Walter Locke 
wore early in the field with agencies for 
several of the leading manufacturers in 
England, and they are now agents for 
the " Triumph," and sole agents on the 
eastern side of India for the famous 
" Indian," the " Lea Francis," the 
" Ariel," the " Levis," and many other 
machines of the highest quality. They 
are the largest importers of, and 
specialize in, motor-cycles. The 

Indian," a leading cycle on the inarket 
to-day, is supplied in six different 
models, and it has stood many remark- 
ably severe tests as to durability, speed, 
and ease in running. At the time of 
writing (.April 191 6) the firm have 
seventy-five of these machines on the sea 
en route for Calcutta. Again, riders of 
" Ariel " machines won the team prize 
in the Scottish and English six days' 
trials in 19 13, thus beating all records. 
No fewer than eight gold medals were 
awarded during these contests. Spare 
parts and accessories are kept in stock, 
and repairs of all kinds are attended to 
by thoroughly skilled workmen serving 
under European motor engineers. 

Messrs. Walter I^ocke & Co. are, 
further, agents in India for Messrs. 
Elkington & Co., Ltd., the well-known 
manufacturing jewellers, gold and silver- 
smiths, and originators of electro-plating, 
who are specialists in medals in bronze, 
gold, and silver, cups, bowls, trophies, 
shields, and prizes for every branch of 
sport, jewels, watches, clocks, silverware, 
" Elkington " plate cutlery, and other 
articles of a similar nature. 

Reference must be made before closing 
to the " True Life Targets," for which 
this firm have been appointed sole agents 
in India. These targets approach as 
nearly as possible to the shape, colour 
of uniforms, and movements of soldiers, 
and they present such unexampled oppor- 
tunities for practice in rifle shooting that 
they have been approved by the Hythe 
School of Musketry and various Govern- 
ment departments in England. 

The South African War, and now the 
tremendous conflict in Europe, have 
shown that ordinary targets are practi- 
cally out of date for instruction purposes 
in modern warfare, but the inventions 
just referred to give a reality to the 
object of the firing by dejjicting a sup- 


posed enemy in uniforms corresponding 
in colour to trees, bare land, rocks, road- 
ways, or buildings, and thus a soldier in 
training gains a very vivid representation 
of scenes with which he will be confronted 
on active sefvice. 

It should be added that the fii'm have 
a garage at 14 British Indian Street, 
Calcutta, and this building not only pro- 
vides ample space for the storage of 
motor-cars and cycles, but it also con- 
tains extensive workshops where these 
machines can be refitted or repaired— 
however badly damaged — in the shortest 
possible time. 

The firm are sole agents in Bengal, 
Bihar and Orissa, Assam, the United 
Provinces, and the Punjab for the Lister- 
Bruston Automatic Electric Lighting and 
Pumping Installation, and the special 
feature of this patent system is that it 
generates electricity automatically imme- 
diately it is required for lighting or any 
other purpose, and thus removes the 
necessity for expensive storage batteries. 

Other important agencies are those for 
direct-current motors supplied by the 
Rhodes Motors, Ltd., of Doncaster, Eng- 
land, and of .Hart's celebrated storage 
batteries, which are designed more par- 
ticularly for motor-cars, boats, auto- 
mobiles, small plating work, and other 
light loads. 

The " Locke " electric ceiling fan 
possesses three distinct features: (l) 
reliability, as it has a minimum of 
separate parts, and consequently a 
minimum of risk of disorder ; (2) acces- 
sibility, it being unnecessary to take the 
fan to pieces in order to get at the com- 
mutator and brushes ; and (3) simplicity, 
because there are no loose ornamental 
castings to cause noise or to harbour dust. 
The firm's electric cooking apparatus is 
highly appreciated wherever it has been 
introduced, and it includes combined grill 
and toaster, electric irons, saucepans, 
frying-pans, hot -water jugs, cooker, 
kettles, and sundry other articles. 

Many important contracts for electric 
work have been carried out for the 
Governments of India and Bengal, for 
several hospitals, the Treasury buildings, 
the Telegraph Office, the Presidency 
College, and other buildings, as well as 
for leading business houses in Calcutta. 

The firm retain a stafl^ of highly 
qualified electrical engineers who were 
trained in the Old Country, although two 
of these have received commissions since 
the outbreak of war. 

Messrs. Walter Locke & Co. have 


branches at Lahore and Delhi, and the 
managing director is Mr. W. J. Bradshaw, 
who has for many years past taken an 
active part in the administration of local 
affairs in Calcutta. He was President of 
the Market Committee when important 
additions were made to the Stewart Hogg 
Market Buildings; he has served on the 
Port Trust as the representative of the 
Calcutta Trades Association, and he has 
been a municipal commissioner for many 
years, and was the first elected repre- 
sentative of the Calcutta Trades Asso- 
ciation on the Bengal Council. 

The telegraphic address of the firm is 
" Waltlocke," Calcutta. 


The sole proprietor of this firm, Mr. 
H. P. Maitra, was formerly financially 
interested in certain commercial concerns 
in Calcutta, but in the year 1906 he com- 
menced business on his own account, 
trading as H. P. Maitra & Co., as a 
general merchant and commission agent, 
dealing in stone lime, coal, timber, and 
Manchester piece and other goods. 

The premises are situated at the junc- 
tion of Clive Row with Clive Street, two 
of the busiest thoroughfares in Calcutta, 
and within a couple of minutes' walk of 
the Royal Excliange and the principal 
banks of the city. 

The firm are managing agents for the 
Gonesh Cotton Mills Company, Ltd., and 
for the Maitra Stone and Lime Company, 
Ltd., whose kilns, built in 191 2, are 
situated at Maihar, on the East Indian 
Railway, about 96 miles distant from the 
important junction of Jubbulpore and 637 
miles from Calcutta. The Maihar lime 
is one of the very best stone limes of 
India, and is extensively used by the 
Government Public Works Department, 
District Boards, railways, municipalities, 
and other public bodies, as well as by 
the most eminent architects, builders, and 
contractors of Bengal and the United 
Provinces. It is also used largely upon 
tea gardens and indigo and sugar estates 
for manuring purposes, and it constitutes 
one of the principal ingredients in the 
manufacture of the different manures and 

Coal, which is obtained from collieries 
in the Jherria fields (for which the firm 
are managing agents), is sold chiefly in 
wholesale quantities to the Government 
and to mills, and imported timber is dis- 
posed of to the Ordnance and Public 
Works Departments, to the Calcutta and 

other Municipalities, some of the District 
Boards, and also to the principal 
contractors and shipbuilders. 

Messrs. Maitra & Co. are, further, pro- 
prietors of the Bay Fishery at Balugaon, 
on the Chilkah Lake, in the Province of 
Orissa. Motor-boats are used in fishing, 
and the catches are packed in ice and 
forwarded by rail to Calcutta and other 
places, where they are sold wholesale only 
to merchants in the fish markets. They 
also prepare cured, dried, and salted fish 
for the Burma and Straits markets and 
for export to other countries. 

The firm have a very valuable asset 
in the monopoly which they enjoy for 
the sale of cigarettes in the Independent 
Kingdom of Nepal. They purchase a 
certain brand from the manufacturers in 
India, and the latter, according to agree- 
ment with Messrs. Maitra & Co., are pre- 
cluded from making any of the same kind 
for any other firm. 

Mr. Maitra undertakes personal 
management of the business, and he 
usually employs altogether about 250 
hands in his different businesses. 

The telegraphic address is " Maitraph, 
Calcutta," and the London corre- 
spondents are Messrs. Alfred Voung 
& Co. 



It is believed that fully 80 per cent. 
of the steam engines in India have been 
manufactured by Messrs. Marshall, Sons 
& Co., Ltd., of the Britannia Works, 
Gainsborough, in England, where they 
established themselves in the year 1848. 
Their premises in that Lincolnshire town, 
abutting on the banks of the River Trent, 
cover an area of nearly 40 aores, and 
about five thousand skilled workmen and 
labourers are constantly employed ; or, 
in other words, one-quarter of the total 
population of the town are found in the 
Britannia workshops, yards, and offices. 

The firm are amongst the largest 
makers of industrial and agricultural 
machinery in the world, and they were 
pioneers in India with their well-known 
steam threshing machines. Their Cal- 
cutta branch was opened in Lai Bazar 
in the year 1889, and about seven years 
later they removed to their present com- 
modious quarters at 99 Clive Street, 
where they occupy extremely well- 
appointed offices, together with extensive 
godowns, in which is stored a large and 
varied selection of the productions of the 
Gainsborough factories. 


The firm are manufacturers of {inter 
alia) high-class horizontal engines up to 
2,000 h.p. ; Lancashire, Cornish, loco- 
motive multi-tubular, vertical, and other 
boilers ; portable and semi-portable 
engines ; oil and electric light engines ; 
road rollers ; traction engines ; steam 
and oil tractors ; threshing, grinding, 
and sawing machinery ; disintegrators ; 
pumps of all descriptions ; and, in fact, 
almost everything in the way of 
mechanical plant known to modern 

One of the most important economic 
questions in India at the present time 
is the regulating of the supply of labour 
not only for mills, factories, foundries, 
and other similar works, but also for 
agricultural development. 

Labour-saving appliances are only now 
beginning to receive the recognition which 
they deserve, but as the supply of 
labourers in India is becoming more and 
more unreliable, economists realize that 
the only remedy is in the increase lof 
power plants in the country. 

Messrs. Marshall have devoted careful 
thought to this question, and their 
lengthy experience has enabled them to 
come to the assistance of agriculturists, 
spinners, weavers, millers, and other 
leaders of industrial concerns. 

A reference is called for to their 
steam threshing machinery, which has 
received the following, among other, 
awards : First prize of £40 at the Royal 
Agricultural Society's Show at Cardiff, 
the only first prize and special mention 
at the New Zealand International Exhi- 
bition, the only first prize at the Sydney 
International Exhibition, a special first 
prize and gold medal at the Tasmanian 
International Exhibition, five gold 
medals and three silver ones at the 
Calcutta International Exhibitions, and 
gold and silver medals at the Omsk- 
Siberian Exhibition. This threshing 
machinery — including the engines— is con- 
structed and equipped to meet the re- 
quirements of the country in which it is 
to be used, and the firm are always alert 
to discover and supply any manifest 

Special mention should be made of the 
thoroughly up-to-date machinery — de- 
signed by the well-known inventor, Mr. 
William Jackson — for the drying, rolling, 
fanning, sifting, equalizing, and packing 
of tea, all of which is manufactured only 
by Messrs. Marshall. This plant is made 
of first-class materials, and tea planters 
in Bengal, Assam, Ceylon, and elsewhere 



I AND 2. Fishing is the Chii.ka Lakk. 

H. P. MAITBA &, CO. 
3. Lime Works at Maihak. 

4. I.iMESToNF Quarry at Maihar. 


I. Tea LKAF Rolling Machink, 

2. Empire Tea-uryixg Machine. 3. Cross Compoind Exgixk. Class " L ' 

5. View ok the Works, Gainsborough, E.ngland. 

4. Co.MPOiND RoAii Roller. 



I. The Alliance Bank ok Simla, Ltd., Calcuitv. 


2. Esplanade I Mansions, Calcltta. TTA Ci.iiB. 4. Residence, Patna Capital. 



have shown their appreciation of the 
firm's action in placing such valuable 
tea factory requirements within their 

Messrs. Marshall have branches in 
Bombay, Lahore, Bezwada, and Madras, 
but their agencies arc found in nearly 
all the principal cities and towns of the 
civilized world. 

During the past half century, in open 
competition with other manufacturers, 
Messrs. Marshall have received more 
than five hundred awards for the excel- 
lence of their productions, these distinc- 
tions including grand prix, diplomas of 
honour, and gold and silver medals. 

The London offices and showrooms of 
the firm are at Marshalls' Buildings, 79 
Farringdon Road, E.C., while the general 
manager for India is Mr. J. IL-iirper. 


India provides a grand field for con- 
tractors and engineers, and among many 
firms of note that of Messrs. Martin & 
Co., of 6 and 7 Clive Street, Calcutta, 
stands out most prominently in the van. 
During the past thirty or forty years 
there have been few undertakings of any 
magnitude— whether in the construction 
of systems of waterworks, light railways. 
Government buildings, rajah's palaces, 
private mansions, or other contract work 
— with which Messrs. Martin & Co. have 
not been connected in some way or 
other. If they have not actually pre- 
pared designs and specifications, they 
have probably built the buildings, or, 
failing that, they may have supplied iron 
and steel fittings, or bricks, or coals, with 
the result that investors and others, on 
hearing of any new venture to-day, imme- 
diately ask the question, " Are Martins 
in it?" and if Martins are in it, then 
the confidence of the public is manifested 
towards a firm whose name is synonymous 
with sound and honest work in straight- 
forward concerns. 

The firm was founded in the year 1875 
by the late Sir Acquin Martin, Kt., and 
the partners now (igi6) are Sir Rajendra 
Mookerjce, K.C.I.E., Mr. Harold Martin, 
Mr. C. VV. Walsh, and Mr. Oswald 

Messrs. Martin & Co. have carried out 
most important contracts for the supply 
of water and drainage schemes and other 
public works in all parts of India, from 
north to south and east to west, and 
among the principal waterwork systems 
which have been completed are those at 

Allahabad, .'\gra, Arrah, Aurungabad, 
Benares (drainage also), Berhanipore, 
Bhagalpore, Bombay (Tansa duct), Cal- 
cutta (also drainage), Cawnpore, Cossi- 
pore, Delhi. Dum Dum, Hooghly- 
Chinsurah, Khandwa, Lucknow, Meerut, 
Mirzapur, Monghyr, Multra, Naini-Tal, 
Srinagar, and Serampore. 

Messrs. Martin & Co. arc deserving 
of the highest credit for their pioneer 
work in introducing light railways, which 
are usually constructed on district roads, 
and which have proved to be of immense 
benefit in connecting outlying areas, rich 
in agricultural produce, with main lines 
of railways, and they have financed and 
constructed, and are now managing, the 
following : the Howrah-Amta, Howrah- 
Sheakhala, Ranaghat-Krishnagar (ac- 
quired by Government), Bukhtiarpuir- 
Bihar, Barasct - Basirhat, Shahdara - 
Saharampur, and the .^rrah-Sasaram 

Not the least important branch of the 
many activities in which Messrs. Martin 
are engaged is that of architecture, and 
the firm have a large staff of highly 
trained architects, whose skill is mani- 
fested in some of the handsomest build- 
ings in Calcutta. A striking feature in 
these edifices is the happy combination of 
utility with beauty of outline, and the 
adaptation of certain Characteristics of the 
West which harmonize with the graceful 
and artistic work of the East. The firm 
have constructed the following among 
other completed works : a palace built 
for His Highness the Maharajah of 
Tippera ; the Bank of Bengal buildings 
at .-Mlahabad, Benares, and Lahore ; the 
Government Secretariat Buildings at 
Dacca ; the Government Agricultural 
College at Bhagalpore ; the Royal 
Insurance, South British Insurance, 
Chartered Bank, and .Alliance Bank 
premises ; the head offices of the 
Bengal-Nagpur Railways ; the Sir Stuart 
Hogg Market ; and the Park, Esplanade, 
Harrington, and Ale.xandra Mansions. 

A particularly beautiful specimen of 
the firm's work is the Mysore Memorial 
at Kalighat, Calcutta, which was erected 
on the precise spot on the banks of 
Tolly's Nullah on which the body of a 
Maharajah of Mysore (who died in Cal- 
cutta in 1897) was cremated. The 
buildings include a Dravidian temple, 
ghat, and pavilion designed by the firm's 
chief architect, Mr. Edward Thornton, 
r. R.I. 13. A., and the work is typical of 
the best traditions of the East. The com- 
mercial section of Calcutta is indebted 


to Messrs. Martin for the erection of a 
large number of jute mills, including the 
Auckland, Clive, Dalhousie, Kelvin, 
Kharda, Lawrence, Northbrook, Standard, 
and Union factories. 

The firm have, further, been entrusted 
by the Government of Bihar and Orissa 
with the construction of the buildings at 
the new capital of Bankipur, comprising 
the High Court, Government House, 
Secretariat Buildings, Post and Telegraph 
Offices, and residences for officials, and 
these works, now in progress, are esti- 
mated to cost about Rs. 55 lakhs, while 
the new Government European ."Xsylum 
at Ranchi was designed, and has just been 
completed, by them. 

Important as are the above- mentioned 
contracts, they are eclipsed by one which 
confers upon Messrs. Martin & Co. the 
honour of erecting on the maidan in Cal- 
cutta the " All-India Victoria Memorial 
Hall," which was designed by Sir William 
Emerson, at an estimated cost of about 
Rs. 70 lakhs. Some 200,000 cub. ft. of 
marble are required for this work, and 
this quantity is being obtained from 
Makrana. in Rajputana, where the firm 
have, under expert European super- 
vision, opened quarries and erected a 
large factory, which is equipped with 
the latest type of marble - working 
machinery, including frame, rip, wire, 
and diamond saws, rubbing beds, milling 
machines, lathes, and plainers. It is 
expected that the Hall will be completed 
by the end of the year 1921. 

Messrs. Martin make all their own 
bricks, and the extent of their building 
operations may be gauged from the fact 
that during the season 1914-15 they made 
at their six brickfields more than sixty 
millions of bricks for their own con- 
struction works. 

The firm are now managing agents for 
the Satpukuria and Asansol, the Samla- 
Kendra. the Kosoonda and Nyadee, and 
the Ghusick and Muslia collieries, tlie 
Indian Manganese Company, Ltd.. the 
Hooghly Docking and Engineering Com- 
pany, Ltd., the National Indian Life In- 
surance Company, Ltd., Messrs. Cromp-. 
ton & Co., Ltd., the well-known electrical 
engineers, and the Bengal Iron and Steel 
Company, Ltd., which is referred to at 
length hereafter. The firm have also 
been appointed managing agents for the 
following companies which have been 
floated recently, namely, the Futwah- 
Islampur Light Railway Company 
(which is being constructed with Messrs. 
Martin & Co. as consulting engineers). 

I. Howrah-Amata Light Raiuvav. 

2, D.iv Dock. 

3. Machine Shop. 




4. High Coi:rt, Patna Capiial. 





the Chaparmukh-Silghat Railway Com- 
pany, Ltd., and the United Provinces 
Electric Supply Company, Ltd. 

Messrs. Martin & Co. are, in all prob- 
ability, the leading Importers of engineer- 
ing tools and plant, and they hold several 
very important agencies from English 
manufacturers, including the Frodingham 
Iron and Steel Company, Ltd., for joists 
and sections ; Messrs. Laycocks, Ltd., 
for railway carriages and rolling stock ; 
the Bells United Asbestos Company, Ltd., 
for " Poilite " roofing ; Messrs. Tuck & 
Co., Ltd., for engine packing, belting, 
and rubber goods ; Messrs. Robcirt Hud- 
son, Ltd., for light railway plant ; 
Messrs. Ruston, Proctor & Co., Ltd., foir 
road rollers, boilers, portable, fixed, and 
gas engines ; the Silent Machine and En- 
gineering Company, Ltd., for specialities 
in foundry requisites ; the Peerless Lock- 
woven Wire Fence Company for fencing ; 
Messrs. William Gumming & Co. for 
moulders' requisites ; Messrs. Walkers, 
Ltd., for disinfectants ; the Calls Bitmo 
Company, Ltd., for anti-corrosive paints ; 
Messrs. Locke, Lancaster & Co., Ltd., for 
pig lead and lead yarn ; and Messrs. 
Williamson, Ltd., for paints and var- 
nishes. The unique position held by 
Messrs. Martin & Co. in the engineering 
world is proved by the fact that their 
monthly metal price list and market re- 
port is accepted as a standard guide, and 
its circle of readers comprises the entire 
engineering community of India. The 
firm have always loyally supported local 
industries, and their stock includes the 
Tata Iron and Steel Company's sections, 
together with Portland cement from the 
Katni Cement and Industrial Company, 
for whom they are agents for Eastern 

'Their London offices are at Vestry 
House, Laurence Pountney Hill, E.C. 



It would be far too modest an estimate 
of the value of this company to regard it 
merely as a commercial undertaking pro- 
ducing satisfactory dividends upon in- 
vested capital, as it has been the means 
of bringing to light one of the richest 
fields of iron ore in India, if not in the 
world. The property belonged cwiginally 
to the Burrakur Iron Works Company, 
l)ut it was acquired by the present com- 
pany in the year 1889. 

' For iliustnition see page 757. 

The works are situated at Kulti, on the 
East Indian railway system, about 142 
miles distant from Calcutta, and they 
comprise blast furnaces, iron foundries, 
engineering shops, by-product coke 
ovens, collieries, iron ore mines, and 
sulphuric acid plant. 

The blast furnace plant consists of four 
furnaces, 60 ft. in height, and having a 
daily capacity of 300 tons, connected with 
which are thirteen " Cowper " stoves for 
heating the blast, the stoves being from 
60 to 75 ft. in height, with a diameter 
21 ft. Five blowing engines are connected 
with the furnaces, with a total power 
capacity of 5,050 h.p. Two of these are 
vertical engines, and three are Parsons' 
turbines with condensers. Two batteries 
of twenty-six Lancashire boilers supply 
steam to the blowing engines, the boilers 
being fired by waste gas from the blast 
furnaces. Iron ore, coke, and limestone 
are delivered from railway wagons at the 
back of the furnaces, and then raised by 
three electric hoists to the charging 

The furnace plant is able to turn out 
300 tons of pig-iron daily, and the pro- 
duct, marked with the brand " Bengal," 
is made from selected ores, and compares 
favourably in quality with the best 
Middlesbrough foundry iron. The com- 
pany has recently put on the market 
several special kinds of iron, some of 
which are known by the names Manhar- 
pur, Burrakur, high manganese, high 
phosphorus, and low silicon. The pig- 
iron is supplied to all the principal rail- 
ways and iron foundries in India, and, 
in addition, the iron is exported to 
Ceylon, the Straits Settlements, Australia, 
New Zealand, Japan, and South America. 

All the iron ores used in the works 
are obtained from the company's own 
properties in the district of Singhbhooni. 
A new deposit of high-grade ore has 
recently been opened up in an area which 
is connected with the Bengal-Nagpur 
Railway by a light line, 16 miles in 
length, constructed by the company, the 
ore being loaded in trucks by an aerial 
ropeway 5,000 ft. in length. With the 
high-class ores now at the disposal of 
the company it is possible to supply pig- 
iron of almost any analysis, excepting 
only hematite iron. 

The coke plant consists of two batteries 
of thirty-four Simon Carves' by-product 
ovens, which are able to turn out 100,000 
tons yearly. The coal is discharged from 
the railway wagons into hoppers, whence 
it is elevated to the storage bunkers. 

which have a capacity ot 600 tons, and 
is then transferred to the compressor, 
where it is pressed under the stampers 
into a cake to be placed in the ovens. 
The waste gases from the ovens, after 
the by-products of coal-tar and sulphate 
of ammonia have been extracted, pass to 
the battery of boilers, where they are 
utilized for raising steam for the genera- 
tion of electric power for the whole works, 
while the crusher, elevators, and com- 
pressor are operated by electric power. 

The sulphuric acid plant has been in- 
stalled for the purpose of manufacturing 
the acid required for the recovery of 
sulphate of ammonia, and the annual out- 
put of 2,500 tons allows an ample margin 
for future extensions or outside orders. 

The foundries comprise those for pipes, 
railway sleepers, and chairs, general cast- 
ings, and brass, and they cover an area 
of 160,000 sq. ft. 

There are two plants for the manu- 
facture of cast-iron pipes made in dry 
saaid moulds and cast vertically, and they 
are respectively fitted with hydraulic and 
electric power. All pipes are coated with 
Dr. Angus Smith's solution, and are 
tested to any hydrostatic pressure re- 
quired, while very large numbers of 
flanged pipes of all sizes suitable for 
steam or water mains are constantly being 
made at the works. 

Another section of the foundries is 
fitted with moulding machines for making 
cast-iron railway sleepers — either plate or 
bowl designs — and railway chairs of any 
type or size, while in the general foundry 
(which measures 500 by 100 ft.) all kinds 
of castings, up to 25 tons in weight, are 
made, including columns for public build- 
ings and mills, straining posts and sockets 
for railway fencing, mortar-mills, road 
rollers, ornamental columns, lamp posts, 
railing and machinery castings for 

The brass foundry is able to supply 
every description of castings which may 
he required in engineering works. The 
annual collective output of the foundries 
is from 50,000 ito 60,000 tons of castings, 
as follows : pipes, 8,000 tons ; sleepers 
and chairs, 40,000 to 45,000 tons ; and 
general castings, from 6,000 to 7,000 

Messrs. Martin & Co. always keep a 
large stock of engineering requisites of 
all kinds, including more than 3,000 tons 
of cast-iron pipes from 2 to 12 in. bore, 
with planed, turned, and bored or double- 
flanged joints, in addition to a large 
quantity of " I.S.R." fencing sockets. 

I. Calcutta Premises. 

1. Showroom. 

3. I'OKTiox OK Workshops, 



straining posts, railway chairs, and other 

The engineering department embraces 
machine shop (290 by 90 ft.), smiths' 
shops, and riveting and erecting yards, 
and all these buildings are fully equipped 
with up-to-date appliances for general 
work and repairs. 

The company's collieries are situated 
at Ramnagore, in the Raneegunge field, 
and at Noonoodih and Jeetpore in the 
Jhcrria coal-producing area, and supplies 
are drawn from them for the company's 
requirements and for disposal to railway 
authorities and private consumers. .About 
150,000 tons of first-class coal are raised 

Excellent facilities for the dispatch of 
goods to any part of India have been pro- 
vided by private sidings between the 
works and the East Indian and Bengal- 
Nagpur Railways. 


The founder of the well-known firm of 
Messrs. Manton & Co., of Old Court 
House Street, Calcutta — the premier gun- 
makers in the East — was one Joe Manton, 
who was regarded by sportsmen of his 
day as " the greatest artist in firearms 
that the world has ever produced." A 
contributor to Land and Water wrote 
years ago that " if asked who were the 
fathers of modern shooters and gun- 
makers, ninety-nine out of every hundred 
men qualified to e.\press an opinion would 
name Colonel Hawker and Joe Manton." 
The latter originated and perfected more 
inventions in small arms than any other 
maker in England, and it was commonly 
said that if Joe Manton had expressed 
approval of a weapon there was nothing 
wrong with it. 

This pioneer maker of all kinds of guns 
sent his nephew, Frederick Manton, to 
India in the year 1820, and the latter 
commenced a business which is still 
known as Manton & Co., and which, 
since its foundation, has been the means 
of supplying firearms and other sporting 
requisites to thousands of sportsmen in 
India. The uncle died in the month of 
June 1835, and his chief friend and sup- 
porter. Colonel Hawker, wrote of him that 
"an everlasting monument to his un- 
rivalled genius is already established in 
every quarter of the globe by his celebrity 
! as the founder and father of the modern 
gun trade, and as a most scientific 
inventor in other departments." 

The business of Manton & Co. in Cal- 

cutta was, in 1847, purchased by William 
Robert Wallis (and is still held by his 
relatives), who, after some thirty years 
of most successful trading, retired in 
favour of his sons. In the year 1850 
Mr. W. R. Wallis acquired the goodwill 
of the very old-established business of 
Samuel Nock, of Regent Circus, London 
(gunmaker by Royal Warrant to Her late 
Majesty Queen Victoria, 1838), now the 
property of Messrs. Manton & Co. 

The original premises of the firm were 
situated in that portion of Calcutta now 
called Bentinck Street (formerly known 
as Cossitollah), but the extensive build- 
ing now occupied by Messrs. Manton & 
Co. is situated in a most commanding 
position in Old Court House Street and 
Mangoe Lane, in Calcutta ; and it is 
stocked with an immense quantity of rifles, 
shot-guns, revolvers, pistols, ammunition, 
and all kinds of sporting requisites and 
accessories for every outdoor game 
enjoyed by man or woman. 

Messrs. Manton & Co. make a special 
feature of the manufacture of their 
" Standard " cartridges, which are tlie 
best sporting ammunition in India. .An 
immense amount of time and money has 
been expended in making these car- 
tridges as perfect as possible, and too 
much importance cannot be attached to 
the necessity for absolute accuracy in 
measurements of cases and in the quality 
and quantity of powder and shot. With 
regard to the cases, which are manufac- 
tured by the famous firm of Eley Brothers, 
Ltd., of London, the principal conditions 
to which a perfectly made shot-gun case 
must conform are : (fl) superiority in the 
quality of paper used in the manufacture 
of the tube, enabling it to resist, as far as 
possible, climatic influences ; [b) the 
lining of the head of the case and a 
considerable portion of the inside of the 
tube with metal ; {c) the selection of 
a suitable cap which may be relied upon 
on ignition to give a regular flash; and 
[d) conformation of all component parts 
of the case to the standard measurements. 
Space will not permit any detailed refer- 
ence to the whole process of manufac-. 
ture, but the utmost care is taken to use 
powder which possesses the maximum 
stability, to place the loading of the 
cases under strict European supervision, 
to have the shotting, wadding, and ram- 
ming machines in correct working order, 
and to give the minutest attention to all 
detail work to ensure the continued sup- 
port of their very large and influential 
client el v. 


I'hc repairs department is an exceed- 
ingly important branch in a business 
which annually receives hundreds of 
weapons requiring attention, and skilled 
artisans who have been specially trained 
on the firm's own premises for a numljer 
of years arc constantly employed upon 
this work. 

Any one uiiacquainted with the com- 
ponent parts of, say, a shot-gun or rifle 
would be astounded to see the delicate 
nature of the mechanism and the pre- 
cision with which the various fittings are 
placed in position, but after such an in- 
spection he would realize that a very high 
degree of skill was necessary to manu- 
facture or even to repair a firearm of 
modern construction. 

In the repairing workshops one sees 
men employed in rejointing or tightening 
action and barrels, replacing broken 
springs, regulating ejectors, fitting new 
hammers and strikers, correcting a faulty 
pull-off, removing dents from barrels, 
adjusting sights, and a quantity of other 
mechanical work too bewildering for a 
novice to understand. Messrs. Manton 
& Co. never allow a rifle or gun to leave 
their workshops' until it has been tested, 
sighted, and regulated at their private 
range, which is provided with fixed and 
disappearing targets of all kinds. 

The firm holds warrants of appoint- 
ment to the following Viceroys of India : 
Lord Northbrook, 1872-6; Lord Lytton, 
1876-80 ; Marquis of Ripon, 1880-84 ; 
Earl of Dufferin, 1884-8 ; Marquis of 
Lansdowne, 1888-94 ; Earl of Elgin. 
1894-9 ; Earl Curzon of Kedleston, 
1899-1905 ; Earl of Minto, 1905-10; 
and Baron Hardinge of Penshurst, 191 i- 
16 ; and also to the undermentioned 
Commanders-in-Chief, namely : General 
Sir William Lockhart, 1898-1900 ; 
General Viscount Kitchener of Khar- 
toum, 1902-9 ; and General Sir O'Moore 
Creagh in 1909. 

At the Calcutta International Exhibi- 
tion held in 1883-4, Messrs. Manton & 
Co. were awarded three silver medals for 
local and other manufactures, while a 
bronze medal and diploma were gained 
at the Indian and Colonial Exhibition in 
London in 1886. 


This firm, whose hedd offices for India 
are situated in Wallace House, 5 Banks- 
hall Street, Calcutta, are a branch of the 
well-known house which was established 
in Salford, Manchester, early in the last 


century by the grandfather of the present 
chairman. Sir William Mather. They 
were at first chiefly concerned in the 
manufacture of machinery for bleaching, 
dyeing, printing, and finishing textile 
materials. It was not until many years 
afterwards that their energies were 
directed into new channels, and the first 
departure was the establishment of the 
electrical engineering department, which 
has subsequently developed into a very 
important branch. 

The firm's next undertaking was to 
specialize in hydraulic plant, including 
the manufacture of water filters (both 
pressure and gravity), of sewage distri- 
bution plant, well-boring apparatus, and 
almost every known description of pump ; 
and here they were pioneers, in that they 
were the first to introduce and manufac- 
ture the turbine high-lift pump. 

Pursuing their progressive policy, the 
firm next turned their attention (and it 
is now thirty years since they did so) 
to the all-important problem of fire pro- 
tection — a question which then commenced 
to loom very large owing to the enormous 
losses that were being sustained by the 
insurance companies, more especially 
through fires in textile mills, which had 
raised the rates of premium to such an 
extent that they became a heavy burden 
on industries. These losses to the in- 
dividual, as well as to the commimity, 
led to a demand for some drastic improve- 
ment in the means of extinguishing fire, 
and Messrs. Mather and Piatt were first 
in the field with the " Grinnell " 
sprinkler, which has since won for itself 
so world-wide a reputation, and may be 
said to have revolutionized fire insurance. 

In 1900 the whole of the available 
space on the old site at Salford had 
become quite exhausted, and as there was 
no room for extension except in an up- 
ward direction, it was then decided to 
secure fresh land on which to build works 
more suited to the advancing require- 
ments of the business. 

The question of where these were to be 
placed exercised the mind of the board 
for a long time, many sites being in- 
spected, and ultimately a fine block of 
land at Park, Manchester, almost level, 
surrounded by roads, and bounded on 
one side by a canal and on the other by 
three railways, and comprising 50 acres, 
was acquired by the company, and was 
destined to he the site of one of the finest 
machine shops of modern times. 

One by one the various departments 
were transferred to the new works at 

Park ; in 1909 it was finally decided to 
make provision for the removal of all 
remaining branches from Salford ; and 
in 1910 seven more shops were con- 
structed. Subsequently various other 
buildings were added, including a large 

A summary of the production of the 
various departments of the new works 
will probably be of interest. 

Textile Depart me nt,~\\\ this section 
is undertaken the equipment of com- 
plete works for bleaching, calico print- 
ing, dyeing, and finishing, including 
power plant with large gas engines or 
electric motors. No engineering firm has 
had more practical experience than 
Messrs. Mather and Piatt in arranging 
and equipping throughout such works, 
and the new extensive machine shops, 
replete with every modern appliance, are 
capable of producing the highest class 
of manufacture. Some specialities are as 
follows : Gas-singeing machine, Mather 
kiers, open-width bleaching machinery, 
duplex and intermittent printing 
machines, high-speed stentering and 
beetling machines, open soaping and 
mercerizing ranges, dyeing machines for 
cops, cheeses, raw cotton, and other 
articles, spray damping machines, 
calendars for all purposes, and warp 
stop motion for looms. In the " Vortex " 
automatic self-cleansing system of 
humidification and ventilation for 
moistening and cooling the atmosphere 
of textile workrooms, the humid condi- 
tions are produced by the diffusion of 
" atomized " water, thus ensuring great 
economy in working charges and in 
maintaining pleasant working conditions 
during the hot months of the year. 
Numerous textile mills in India have been 
equipped with the various specialities 
turned out by this department. 

Electrical Department. ~- Messrs. 

Mather and Piatt's long experience 
(over thirty years) in the manufacture 
and installation of electrical machinery 
enables them to give expert advice on 
all matters relating to economical electric 
driving. Electrical plant of every de- 
scription is manufactured for the com- 
plete electrification of collieries and 
mines, paper-mills, bleaching and finish- 
ing works, and spinning, weaving, and 
other mills. The products of the elec- 
trical shops comprise direct current and 
alternating current generating plants and 
motors, dynamos for chemical and weld- 
ing processes, and train lighting equip- 
ments. In the latter field the firm's 

patent system is being used by a consider- 
able number of railways in India, Ceylon. 
Great Britain, and in other parts of 
the world, and because of its simplicity 
and robustness is giving every satisfac- 
tion. Many mills and factories in India 
are equipped throughout with electrical 
drive apparatus manufactured by Messrs. 
Mather and Piatt. 

Hydraulic Department. High-lift tur- 
bine pumps are supplied for collieries, 
mines, and water supply (high and low 
pressure services). The practical results 
of a very wide experience of the con- 
struction of high and low-lift turbine 
pumps are embodied in the modern pumps 
made by Messrs. Mather and Piatt (the 
original makers of the turbine pump). 
In the latest type there are no thrust 
bearings of any kind, and all end thrust 
is avoided by an effectual hydraulic 
balancing arrangement. The special 
features of the pumps are absence of 
thrust bearings, automatic differential 
hydraulic balance, high efliciency, low first 
cost, and accessibility and adaptability 
for increased or decreased number of 
chambers. These pumps can be made for 
any conceivable duty. Patent centrifugal 
pumps for low lifts, which possess the 
following special merits as compared with 
all other makes : efficiency, greater sim- 
plicity, less total weight, smaller dimen- 
sions (the pumps combine the advantages 
of the volute and turbine designs). 
Patent mechanical filters for town 
supplies and all industrial purposes. 
For many years the firm have been en- 
gaged in the construction of mechanical 
filters and auxiliary plant. They have 
tested the merits of numerous processes 
of filtration, and these have led to their 
putting on the market their patent filter, 
which embodies many points of 
superiority over others. Water soften- 
ing and purification are obtained by the 
Archbutt-Deeley process for municipal 
supplies, boiler feeding, and any other 
purpose for which a soft and pure water 
is required. 

In regard to the working of this 
department, many electrically-driven tur- 
bine pumping sets are at work in the 
colliery district of Bengal and in mills 
and factories in and around Calcutta. 
Several installations of these pumps are 
now being erected for municipal water 
supply schemes in connection with tube 
well supplies, which are now being so 
prominently adopted in the United 
Provinces and elsewhere. 

A typical gravity type meclianical 

^^^i. Ai.ToiiATic Sewage DisiKiBiroii as adopted for Disposal of Effllext at Mills axd Factories ix Bexgal. 2. Partlil View of Mather & Platt's 

I^Hr Ukcuanical Kilter Ixstallatio.v in a Jlte Mill xeah Calcutta. 3 Bird seve View of Mather & Platt's New Works, Maxchester. 

I^^K 4. GovEHXME.vr Stamp and Stationery Blildinus, Calcutta; Protected against Fire by "Grixxell" Automatic Sprinklers. 

j^^H 3- Electkicallv driven High-lut Turuixe Pump, .\s supplied to many Collieries, Mills, and Factories in Bengal. 

^f 161 


filter plant, supplied and erected by 
Messrs. Mather and Piatt, is that which 
has been working since 1914 at the 
Alliance Jute Mills, near Calcutta. This 
plant is dealing with water from the 
River Hooghly, which is undoubtedly one 
of the most difficult waters to treat in an 
efficient manner, but the results which 
have been obtained have shown that 
with a properly designed scheme and 
appliances such as liave been put in by 
the firm the treatment is a very simple 
matter. Further, the results obtained 
with this plant show a higher degree of 
bacteriological as well as chemical puri- 
fication than has been obtained previously 
on this river. 

The important question of tlie satis- 
factory disposal of latrine effluent as well 
as of town's sewage, particularly in 
Bengal, has been dealt with by the adop- 
tion of the open-type filter-beds (oxidiza- 
tion process), fitted with Messrs. Mather 
and Piatt's patent automatic rotary 
sewage distributors. 

Fire Department —Messrs. Mather and 
Piatt arc manufacturers of the " GrLn- 
nell " automatic sprinkler and fire alarm, 
which absolutely prevents serious fires. 
This sprinkler has been adopted exten- 
sively in every part of the world, and 
reports of fires successfully extinguished 
come in daily. More than 50,000 build- 
ings are now protected, and it has 
operated in over 1 7,000 actual fires, has 
never failed, and the average amount of 
damage is under £60 per fire. All in- 
surance companies accept risks upon 
premises protected with " Grinnell " 
sprinklers at greatly reduced premiums, 
which are sufficient in many cases to pay 
the whole cost of the installation in a few 
years. Sprinkler installations are sup- 
plied by water from town mains, elevated 
tanks, pressure tanks, electrical and steam 
fire pumps, and they are fitted in accord- 
ance with insurance regulations. All sizes 
of standard cast-iron tanks can be sup- 
plied from stock, and these are made up 
of a scries of tank units of high-grade 
quality, machined true to within a thou- 
sandth of an inch, from which tanks of 
almost every size and shape may be con- 
structed. Plates 2 ft. and 2 ft. 6 in. 
square respectively are used for the most 
part, and no heavy hoisting tackle is 
required for erection. " Underwriter " 
steam fire pumps, fire hydrants, hose and 
appliances, and " Simplex " chemical fire 
extinguishers. Self-closing armoured fire 
doors, fitted with Messrs. Mather and 
Piatt's apparatus for self-closing in case 

of fire, form the best possible means of 
preventing an outbreak from spreading 
from one building to another. 

It is interesting to note that, in the 
Calcutta mill district alone, there are 
installations of " Grinnell " sprinklers 
numbering 150,000 heads. More than 
half of the jute-mills in Bengal, and 
their respective godowns, are protected 
against fire by this system, in addition to 
a considerable quantity of Government 
property, flour, cotton, and othea- mills. 

All these various departments in Cal- 
cutta are efficiently represented by a 
fully technical and commercial staff. .\ 
large stock of materials is held in the 
firm's godowns, which are fitted with the 
most modern tools and appliances for the 
cutting and screwing of pipes and fittings 
for use in sprinkler equipments, in " Vor- 
tex " humidifier installations, and in the 
manufacture of fire doors. One of the 
latest pattern patent " Diamond " me- 
chanical filters, specially suitable for use 
on tea and rubber estates, can be in- 
spected at work in the godowns,- and a 
large number of standardized cast-iron 
tank plates (2 ft. square), from which 
almost any size of tank cafi be con- 
structed without difficuky, are always 
available. ^^ 

Messrs. Mather and Piatt also have an 
ofiice in Bombay at 10 Forbes Street, 
where all departments are efficiently 
represented, as in Calcutta, by a large 
technical and commercial staff. 


The original founders of this firm were 
Messrs. Duncan Macneill and John Mac- 
kinnon, who established themselves in 
Strand Road, Calcutta, in the year 1872, 
and traded as general merchants and 
agents under the title of Macneill & Co, 
Head offices were opened at Winchester 
House, London, E.C., under the style of 
Duncan Macneill & Co., and a very exten- 
sive business has been built up by the 
energy and foresight of the various 
partners. The firm are very largely in- 
terested in the management of a number 
of tea gardens, in coal mines, in the 
manufacture of ropes and lines, the 
weaving of cloth and sacks from jute, 
in controlling inland navigation and rail- 
way companies, and in general agency 
work. Special reference is made on other 
pages in this volume to several of the 
above-named branches of industry, and 
it will be seen that the firm have, by the 
magnitude of trade which passes through 

their hands, assisted greatly in building 
up that immense commercial fabric which 
places India in such a favourable position 
among British dependencies and colonies. 

The present partners are managing 
agents for nearly 40 tea gardens in Assam 
and Eastern Bengal, which are yielding 
an annual crop of nearly 180,000 
maunds. They control the work of the 
Ganges Rope Company, which has a very 
large output of ropes and lines of all 
kinds; they are agents for the River 
Steam Navigation Company, Ltd., whose 
splendid steamers for passenger and 
freight traffic ply between Calcutta. 
.\ssam, and Cachar, as well as on the 
Ganges and on all the rivers and creeks 
in the delta of Bengal ; they are the 
representatives in Calcutta for the old- 
established and renowned Atlas Assurance 
Company; and they own saw-mills in 
Cachar, in which chests are made for the 
tea which is grown on the plantations 
in which they are concerned. They are 
also largely interested in coal mining. 

Mr. Duncan Macneill, one of the 
founders, died in 1892, and Mr. Mac- 
kinnon became senior partner until his 
death in 1908. when the business was 
continued by his trustees. In the year 
19 14 Lord Inchcape took over the 
interests of the latter, and he is now 
senior partner, the remaining members of 
the firm being Mr. D. F. Mackenzie, Mr. 
George Lyell, Mr. Dan Currie, Mr. 
Alexander Topping, Mr. John Taylor, 
Mr. J. Mackenzie, Mr. Duncan Mac- 
kinnon, jun., Mr. VV. Mackinnon, and the 
Hon. Kenneth Mackay. 

The premises now occupied by the firm 
are at 2 Clive Ghat Street, Calcutta. 


Although there does not appear to be 
any definite information as to the time 
when the rope-making industry was com- 
inenced in India, there is no doubt that it 
must have been at a very early period ; 
and as the raw materials are grown so 
largely in the East, it is not surprising 
that the manufacture of all kinds of ropes, 
lines, twines, and paulins should have be- 
come such a prosperous undertaking, and 
especially near Calcutta, where shipping- 
masters and others are ready purchasers 
of the finished products. 

The Ganges Rope Company, Ltd., was 
established m 1904, and Messrs. Macneill 
& Co., of 2 Clive Ghat Street, Calcutta,- 
who were appointed managing agents, 
were confident that there was a promising 


1 The Gan'gks Rope CoupanV, Lid. 2. Jute Weaving Department (Ganges MAXfhAcTiKiNO Company, Ltd.). 

3. JiTE Preparing Depaktjiext (Ganges MANrFACTVRiNO Ccmpany, Ltd.). 4. Narainpore Tea Estate Bingalow., 

5. IJiLKiioosH Ghat Crossing, Barak River. <i. Narainpore BhIl Garden, Cachar. 



future for the making of ropes, provided 
that the old system of manual labour was 
superseded by machinery which would 
materially increase the output and save 
much valuable time. A ropewalk was 
therefore opened, which is 1,250 feet from 
end to end. and therefore is sufficiently 
large to allow the spinning of lines to a 
length of about a quarter of a mile, and 
of any circumference, without their being 
spliced in any way. The preparing and 
spinning plant was supplied by Messrs. 
Lawson and Sons, of Leeds, and the 
ropewalk machinery was obtained from 
Messrs. Coombe, Barbour & Co.; and 
the works, which cover an area of 1 2 
acres, are undoubtedly the largest and 
the most modern of their kind in the 
whole of Asia. 

Ropes are made from manila-hemp, 
sisal, aloe, cotton, country hemps, jute, 
and various descriptions of coir fibres, 
and the company guarantee their manila 
ropes to be made entirely from the hemp 
of that district. Other products of the 
factory include aloe and coir ropes (the 
latter being dry or oiled), ratlines, tarred 
bolt ropes, hand lead lines, deep-sea 
lead lines, signal halyards, seizing and 
log lines, spun yarn, manila and hemp 
sash cords, tarred hambrolines, house 
lines, marlines, fishing lines, superior jute. 
gasketings, iron wire seizings, rope and 
cork fenders, green and white prepared 
canvas, dressed paulins in black or any 
other colour, hatch covers, awnings, and 
sundry other articles. 

It may be well to observe at this junc- 
ture that the owners of Indian rope manu- 
factories have a distinct advantage over 
European makers, inasmuch as the former 
are practically on the ground where the 
raw material is produced, and further, 
that the cost of labour and freightage is 
considerably less than that which the 
Westerner is called upon to pay. The 
question might naturally occur as to 
whether the Eastern manufactures are, 
price for price, equal in quality to others 
on the market, but this doubt can be 
removed very quickly by observing that 
the Ganges Company are, at the present 
time, exporting a considerable quantity of 
their goods to England. Shipowners are 
the largest customers, but large orders 
are received from timber-yard proprietors 
in Burmah, and from all the leading 
shipping, railway, and milling companies 
in the East, while contracts are held 
for supplying His Majesty's dockyard 
authorities and Government arsenals and 

The average daily output is about 12 
tons, and some 600 hands are employed. 

The Twenty-fifth Ordinary General 
Meeting of the shareholders of the com- 
pany was held at Calcutta on June 14, 
191 5, and a report and statements of 
accounts for the half-year ended on 
April 30th preceding were then sub- 
mitted. The directors have had an uphill 
battle to fight owing to the heavy cost of 
land, buildings, and machinery, and on 
account of the exceedingly severe com- 
petition which had to be faced in the 
early days of the company; but at this 
meeting they were able to show that pre- 
liminary difficulties had been overcome, 
that trade was increasing by leaps and 
bounds, and that the finances were in a 
far more satisfactory state than at any 
previous time. All the buildings and 
machinery were said to be in a thorough 
state of repair, and the future of the 
company was full of promise. 

The accounts showed a balance of 
Rs. 1,06,637 to the credit of the trading 
account, as compared with Rs. 70,826 for 
the corresponding period of the previous 
year. After providing for depreciation 
and other charges, the profit and loss 
account presented a credit balance of 
Rs. 57,889 (including Rs. 19,588 brought 
forward), which the directors recommended 
should be dealt with as follows : dividend 
at the rate of 6 per cent, per annum, 
equivalent to Rs. 3 per share, amounting 
to Rs. 21,000 ; transfer to Debenture 
Redemption Fund, Rs. 20,000; and a 
balance of Rs. 16,889 to be carried 

The accounts had been duly audited, 
and they were signed by J. Mackenzie, 
D. Carmichael, and L. VVarlow Harry, 
directors, and by Messrs. Macneill & Co. 
as managing agents. 


This company — of which Messrs. Mac- 
neill & Co., of 2 Clive Ghat Street, 
Calcutta, are managing agents — was 
established in the year 1876, and a mill 
and factory were opened at Seebpore, on 
the right bank of the Hooghly River, in 
the same year. The first directors were 
Messrs. W. Mackinnon, J. Macdonald, 
Eli Lees, A. R. Young, W. Haworth, and 
D. Macneill. 

The mill started with 200 looms, and 

this number has been gradually increased 

until it now stands at 568, but in 1908 a 

new mill was erected on about 30 acres 

J 64 

of land adjoining the original premises. 
The machinery in the new building was 
set in motion towards the close of 1909, 
and it now contains 726 looms. Steam 
power is used in each mill, with engines 
of 2,000 h.p. and 2,500 h.p. respectively, 
and the wages-roll contains the names 
of about 8,300 hands. 

Specialities are a feature of the pro- 
ducts of this mill, and among these are 
twill cloth for the making of cement bags, 
articles chiefly exported to London, and 
hop pocketing, the greater portion of 
which is sent to San Francisco. Other 
products are gunny bags of all descrip- 
tions; Hessian cloth, the chief markets 
for which are North and South ■•\mcrica; 
and wool sheets for Australia, New Zea- 
land, and South Africa. During the year 
1914 about 30,000 tons of raw jute were 
used, to the value of £463,000, and the 
manufactured output for the same was of 
the value of £800,000. 

The company have a private railway 
siding to the mills, in addition to two 
jetties upon the River Hooghly, but 
practically all finished goods are sent 
away by water. 

The present directors are the Right 
Hon. Lord Inchcape, G.C.M.G., K.C.S.I.. 
K.C.I.E., Messrs. George Lyell, Dan 
Currie, and Donald F. Mackenzie, and 
the registered offices of the company 
are at Winchester House, Old Broad 
Street, London. 

Jute is one of the largest crops of 
Eastern Bengal, and the manufacture of 
fabrics therefrom is one of the most pros- 
perous industries in I ndia, as it gives 
employment to many thousands of per- 
sons in the numerous mills which have 
been erected in close proximity to the 
Hooghly River, every facility being 
afforded thereby for the transport of the 
raw material to the mills and for the ship- 
ment of products to the United Kingdom, 
America, and other countries. 

The rapidity with which this industry 
has grown is nothing short of marvellous, 
and it may be interesting to illustrate 
this advance by the following figures, 
taken from returns published for the 
decade between the years 1900 and 19 10. 
In the former year there were 8,727 sack- 
ing looms and 6,609 Hessian looms, and 
the output of the mills was 257,000,000 
bags and 380,000,000 yards of Hessian 
cloth; while the statistics for 1910 show 
13,992 and 18,719 of the two kinds of 
looms, and a production of 464,000,000 
bags and 1,005,000,000 yards of cloth. 
The latest available particulars are as 


follows : For the year ended December 
191 5 the actual clearances of jute fabrics 
from Calcutta were 734,000,000 bags and 
1,148,000,000 yards of Hessian cloth. 

A glance at the exports and at the 
consumption of raw jute in local mills 
during the same period will perhaps give 
a clearer idea of the enormous trade 
which has sprung up. From 1900 to 
1901 the bales, each weighing 400 lb., 
consigned to the United Kingdom, num- 


This firm is an offshoot of the widely 
known establishment of Messrs. A. and 
J. Main & Co., Ltd., of Glasgow and 
London, and the history of its connection 
with India begins with the year 1873, 
when Mr. J. A. R. Main, one of the 
original founders of the company, opened 
an agency in Calcutta, under the manage- 
ment of Messrs. Duncan Brothers. Ten 
years later, at the time of the Calcutta 

in structural work in the tea gardens and 
factories of India, and the improvement 
that is noticeable in buildings erected in 
more recent years is to a very large 
extent due to the manner in which this 
firm adapted designs to meet the changed 
requirements of planters. 

The company's workshops at Scaldah 
were soon found to be altogether inade- 
quate for the increasing volume of trade, 
and in 1907 new works were opened at 

A. & J. MAIN & CO., LTD. 
IXTERiOR, New Smith Shop, Be.\gal-N.\gpur. R.\ilway, KHARGi't'R. 

bered 1,512,662; those sent to the conti- 
nent of Europe, 1,479,299; to America, 
523,495; and to other countries, 16,173; 
giving a total of 3,531,629 bales; but to 
these must be added 2,415,000 and 
300,000 bales used locally and in country 
mills respectively, thus bringing the 
aggregate number of bales of raw material 
to 6,246,629. For the twelve months 
from July 191 4 to June 191 5 there were 
30 lakhs of bales exported, and the mills 
consumption was about 48 lakhs, to which 
must be added 500,000 for country con- 

Exhibition, the agency was taken over 
by Messrs. McLeod' & Co., whose repre- 
sentative was Mr. Alistair McNiven, and 
the business was conducted by the last- 
named gentleman until his death in 1900. 

Up to this date nearly all work under- 
taken by the firm was in connection with 
the tea industry, and Main's leaf and tea 
houses may be seen to-day in all districts 
in which this plant is cultivated. 

It was, of course, inevitable that other 
manufacturing firms should enter the field 
in which Messrs. Main & Co.'s enterprise 
had been so successful, but the fact re- 
mains that this company were the pioneers 


Shalimar, on the western bank of the 
River Hooghly, and about four miles 
distant from Calcutta. 

The first contract to be executed under 
the new conditions was the superstruc- 
ture of the North-Westcrn Railway car- 
riage and wagon shops at Lahore, a work 
which required about 7,000 tons of steel. 

Other steel works of importance erected 
by the company include an extensive 
range of buildings for the Tata Iron and 
Steel Company at Sakchi ; workshops for 
the Bengal-Nagpur Railway Company at 
Khargpur, having a covered area of 
500,000 sq. ft. ; the Grand Oriental 



A. & J. MAIN & CO., LTD. 


3. Skaldah Station, North, Eastern Bengal Railway, 







Hotel, Colombo, for which 2,500 tons of 
steel were supplied ; a suspension bridge, 
with a clear span of 630 ft., for the Burma 
Oil Company, Rangoon ; the Scaldah 
Station. Calcutta, for the Eastern Bengal 
Railway Company ; the Howrah Station, 
Calcutta, for the East Indian and Bengal- 
Nagpur Railway systems ; and a large 
niunber of bridges for railway crossings, 
rivers, and roads. 

Although the firm occupy a leading 
position in supplying steel roofing for 
all purposes, they have built up a very 
extensive fencing business, and it is no 
exaggeration to say that a very large pro- 
portion of the fencing and railing used 
in India by railway and other enterprises 
is manufactured by this firm. 

The company have recently extended 
their activities to Bombay and other 
important parts of India, and a local 
business that was primarily established 
to meet the requirements of the tea 
industry is expanding rapidly, and now 
promises to create for the firm as enviable 
a reputation in the East as that which 
they enjoy in Great Britain. 

It should be added that designs and 
estimates are specially prepared on 
receipt of particulars of all kinds of 
roofs, bridges, fencing, and other struc- 
tural work, and quotations are given upon 
designs of other engineers. 

Messrs. Main & Co. — with whom is in- 
corporated the business of Arrol's Bridge 
and Roof Company, Ltd.— are proprietors 
of the Clydesdale Iron Works, Possil- 
park ; the Germiston Works, Glasgow ; 
and the Calcutta BriJge and Roof Works, 
Calcutta ; and they have extensive offices 
at 10-15 Canning Street, Calcutta. 

Their local telegraphic address is 
" Mainco," Calcutta or Bombay. 

McGregor and balfour, ltd. 

This well-known firm, proprietors of 
the North Tay Works, Dundee, Scotland, 
was established in the year J 8 53, and 
one is perfectly justified in saying that its 
history of commercial progress is on 
parallel lines with the rise and growth 
of the jule manufacturing industry in that 
city and in India, as there is nothing in 
the way of requisites and accessories for 
the machinery and plant in the mills 
■which cannot be supplied by this firm. 

The weaving of jute fibre by hand- 
looms into clothing and other articles has 
been known in India for many centuries, 
but it was as late as the thirties of last 

century that Dundee spinners became 
convinced of the value of Indian fibre, 
and by its use upon their looms a vast 
amount of wealth poured into that city. 
It was not, however, until the year 1855 
that spinning machinery was brought to 
Calcutta from Dundee, and the first jute- 
mill in India was thereupon erected on 
the bank of the Hooghly River upon land 
formerly owned by Warren Hastings. 

As soon as the pioneer jute-mills were 
erected a demand arose for the thousand- 
and-onc separate parts required for 
running them, and Messrs. McGregor and 
Balfour, Ltd., established the North Tay 
Works in Dundee, and prepared them- 
selves to meet the need which was mani- 
fested. They can supply the machinery 
itself, and they manufacture sectional 
parts such as picking arms, bobbins and 
ends, planetree rollers, shuttles, beech, 
persimmon, and birch box backs, reeds 
and cambs, lathe races, spools, swell 
woods, springs, and any other similar 
furnishings of a well-equipped mill. 

A limited liability company was formed 
in 1897, when the business had grown 
10 such an extent that further capitaband 
increased accommodation became neces- 
sary, and in 1904 a branch office was 
opened in Calcutta, together with go- 
downs and workshops at 49 South Road, 
Entail y. Reeds and cambs are manufac- 
tured at the last-mentioned works, where 
a large stock is kept in hand of the com- 
pany's lines made in Dundee and of 
goods of the firms they represent, such 
as dyes, leather, hair, and cotton belting, 
hoops and buckles, canvas hose, canvas, 
felt cloths, flax twine, hydraulic hides, 
rubber goods, pickers, picking bands, iron 
and steel bars, plates and sectional 
material, and numerous other sundries. 

The company are leather factors, mill, 
factory, and engineers' furnishers, fish 
and whale oil merchants, and commis- 
sion agents. They are representatives in 
the eastern portion of India of Messrs. 
Geo. Angus & Co., Ltd., of St. John's 
Works, Newcastle-on-Tyne, and the 
Woven Hose and Belting Works, 
Bentham, Lancaster, who are the largest 
manufacturers in England of all kinds 
of leather goods, indiarubber and 
asbestos goods, canvas hose, textile 
beltings, and similar goods required for 
jute, rice, cotton, and other mills. 

The company are agents for Messrs. 
Hunter, Doig, and Palmer, brassfounders, 
Dundee, who make fittings of every de- 
scription connected with steam, water, 
beating, fire, in gunmetal, brass, and iron. 

The company are, further, agents for 
Messrs. Halley Brothers, Ltd., Dundee, 
who make hackles, gills, wood-card cover- 
ing, steel-faced card covering, hackle gill, 
card pins, gill rivets, and other acces- 

Mr. W. B. Edward is manager of the 
Calcutta branch, and he is assisted by 
.Messrs. F. M. Petrie, C. G. Ferrier, and 
C. A. Crews. The Calcutta office is at 15 
Clive Row, and the telegraphic addresses 
of the company is " Shuttle, Dundee," 
and " Warpbobbin," Calcutta, the public 
codes used being A. B.C., 4th and 5th 


The story of the selection of the settle- 
ment on the eastern bank of the Hooghly 
River, which has grown into the city of 
Calcutta, of the construction of dock and 
wharfage accommodation at Kidderpore, 
and of the rapid expansion of the ship- 
ping trade between the newly established 
port and the principal countries of the 
world is told at length elsewhere in this 
volume, and it only remains here for an 
allusion to be made to the spirited action 
of mercantile firms, hailing from Europe 
and elsewhere, who laid the foundation 
of the commercial prestige of the port 
of Calcutta. These immigrants brought 
with them a stock-in-trade of ability, 
forcefulness, and keen business instincts, 
and they soon founded establishments 
whose ramifications have extended to all 
parts of the East. 

European goods were brought to India 
and exchanged for country produce, and 
in course of time extensive interests were 
developed in the cultivation of rice, jute, 
indigo, tea, coal, and sugar. At the 
present time plantations and concerns of 
the last-mentioned six commodities are 
very largely in the hands of Calcutta 
merchants who act as managing agents, 
and thus it happens that many firms have 
the control of quite a number of these 

A case in point is that of Messrs. 
McLeod & Co., of 3 1 Dalhousie Square, 
Calcutta, who have been for many years 
interested in the jute trade, and are 
exporters of considerable quantities of 
both the raw and manufactured article, 
their first essay in the jute-mill industry 
occurring in 1907, when they took over 
the agency of the Soorah Jute Mill, a 
small sacking factory of only 175 
looms. The plant was by no means 
modern, and a comprehensive scheme of 

1. GE.VEKAL View ok E.mpike Jcte Mill, showing House. 2. Pkepaklsg Department. 

3. Another View ok the EuriRE Mill. 



reconstruction and extension had to be 
undertaken, the results of which are 
now being evidenced in reports which 
for some time past, show a steady i o per 
cent, per annum to the shareholders, 
despite the fact that this concern is 
handicapped by the absence of any 
machinery for producing hessian fabrics. 

Very soon after their initial venture, 
Messrs. McLeod & Co. floated the Kelvin 
Jute Company, Ltd., which, originally 
designed as a 400-loom mill, has now 
been extended to 600 looms, and the 
success of this enlargement is amply 
verified by the popularity of its fabrics 
on the market, no less than by the fact 
that the last dividend paid to its share- 
holders was at the rate of 60 per cent, 
per annum. 

While this mill forms one of the best 
representatives of its type on the 
Hooghly, Messrs. McLeod & Co. made a 
further advance in 19 12, when they 
floated the Empire Jute Mill, which is 
electrically driven throughout, the power 
being generated by steam turbines, the 
whole plant exemplifying the last word 
to date in jute-mill design. .\lthough 
this mill only started running in the early 
part of 19 14, its success has been so 
marked that the latest distribution on the 
ordinary shares was at the rate of 30 per 
cent, per annum, while reserves to the 
extent of Rs. 5,00,000 had already been 

Altogether, Messrs. McLeod & Co. now 
control 1,17s looms, consuming more 
than 9 lakhs of maunds of raw jute and 
producing 34,750 tons of manufactured 
goods per annum. Their concerns give 
employment to 25 European overseers 
and some 8,000 Indian workers, while 
the capital invested amounts to about 
Rs. 40,00,000. 


The original name of this bank was 
the Chartered Mercantile Bank of India, 
London, and China, and the institution 
was formed at Bombay on November 30, 
1853. the first notice of commencement of 
operations being in the nature of an ad- 
vertisement which appeared in the Tele- 
graph and Courier of that city, stating 
that the offices would be opened for busi- 
ness on January 3, 1854. A schedule was 
added in which were shown the rates of 
interest on deposits repayable respec- 
tively on demand, or at three, six, or 
fwelve months, and reference was, further, 

made to the rate of discount on bills vary- 
ing in duration from fifteen days to four 
months, and to cash credits being granted 
(on approved security) for sums between 
Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 30,000. 

Records of important events connected 
with the early history of the bank have 
been found in files of old newspapers 
and in minute and other books, and these 
have been supplemented by personal 
reminiscences of individuals who have a 
distinct recollection of the transactions of 
those days. For much of the information 
thus collated we are indebted to Vol. II, 
No. 5, of the Mercantile War Cry, the 
" magazine of the assistants in the Cal- 
cutta branch of the Mercantile Bank of 
India, Limited," this being the imposing 
title on the cover. 

Very soon after the opening of the 
bank there were highly coloured reports 
as to the rich nature of the ore in newly 
discovered goldfields in Ceylon, and the 
directors, ready to take advantage of 
every opportunity to extend business, 
opened branches at Colombo and Kandy 
in March and April 1854. Before the 
close of that year proposals were made 
by the directors of the Chartered Bank 
of Asia with a view to the amalgamation 
of the two institutions. The journal 
above mentioned says in connection with 
this matter that " a proposition was made 
by dissentient shareholders of the Bank 
of Asia to wind up the business, and at 
this juncture Mr. Flower and Mr. Meeke, 
representing the Mercantile Bank, offered 
to purchase at par the interest of all 
shareholders who wished to retire from 
the concern, and having thereby obtained 
£60,000 out of the subscribed capital of 
£100,000, they held the charter of the 
Bank of Asia at the command of the Mer- 
cantile Bank, and the amalgamation was 
accordingly carried into effect." Other 
branches were formed in 1855 at Canton, 
Shanghai, Calcutta, and London, and by 
the close of the year i860 .Madras, Singa- 
pore, Hongkong, Mauritius, and Penang 
had been added to the list. 

It appears that on November 26. 1857, 
" a deed for winding up the Mercantile 
Bank of India, London, and China was 
signed by the parties concerned, and a 
new deed was executed by the share- 
holders of the Bank of Asia and the Mer- 
cantile Bank for the establishment of a 
new incorporated company to be called 
the Chartered Mercantile Bank of India, 
London, and China." 

As the present volume relates very 
largely to the Province of Bengal, one 

may mention that the Calcutta branch was 
heralded by an advertisement in the 
Eastern Star of January 27, 1855, which 
stated that business would be commenced 
on the 1st of February following, with 
Mr. D. T. Robertson as manager. The 
offices at that time were at i Writers' 
Buildings, immediately opposite St. 
Andrew's Church, and the current 
accounts were about fifty in number ; 
the next few years witnessed such a large 
increase of business that more extensive 
and convenient premises were secured in 
Council House Street ; and at the present 
time (September 191 5) the officials are 
housed in a handsome building at 8 Clive 

Owing to serious losses following on 
the closing of the Indian Mints to the 
free coinage of silver, to great depression 
in the Straits Settlements and Mauritius, 
and to the downfall of coffee-planting 
in Southern India and Ceylon, caused by 
blight, it was decided to close several 
of the branches and to reconstruct the 
business. This was done, and the new 
institution was named the Mercantile 
Bank of India, Ltd. 

The twenty-second annual general 
meeting of the shareholders of this 
bank was held at Winchester House, Old 
Broad Street, London, E.C., on March 30, 
191 5, when resolutions, expressive of the 
deepest gratitude, were unanimously 
passed to the chairman, directors, chief 
manager, and the staff of the bank for 
their work during the year ending Decem- 
ber 31, 1 9 14. The report of the direc- 
tors, signed by Mr. P. Mould, chief 
manager, referred to the fact that tlie 
net profits for the year, after making the 
customary allowance for bad and doubtful 
debts, and including a sum of £34,604 
broUjjlit forward, amounted to £136,224. 
An interim dividend of 4 per cent, on 
" .A " and " B " , shares, amounting to 
£22,500, had been paid on June 30, 
1914 ; the sum of £35,000 was added to 
the reserve fund (raising it to £500,000; ; 
the officers' pension fund had benefited 
by £4,000 ; and £5,000 had been written 
off the freehold banking premises account. 
After payment of a further dividend on 
the " A " and " B " shares of 4 per cent, 
for the second half of the year (making 
8 per cent, for the year), and allowing 
for the above deductions, a balance of 
£47,224 would be carried forward. 

The chairman, in submitting the report 
and statement of accounts, referred to 
the " almost overwhelming problems with 
which finance and commerce were sud- 




i. OkmeralBanKing Hall from the Extraxce. 3. Another View of the Baxkixg Hall, 

4. Sectiox ok Gexeral Office. 



denly faced in August 1914 by the out- 
break of hostilities on the continent of 
Europe," and he added that the greatest 
praise was due to the Government of the 
day for the very prompt and effective 
manner in which relief was given by 
emergency legislation, thus restoring con- 
fidence, and saving the credit of the 
country. A feature of the speech, which 
was received in the heartiest fashion by 
the meeting, was the statement that more 
than 25 per cent, of the home staff, in 
addition to a few of the foreign officers 
of the bank, were then serving their 
country in the field, and the directors had 
undertaken to keep open the appoint- 
ments for these volunteers. The chair- 
man concluded his remarks by saying that 
the directors had reason to be satisfied 
with the result of the work during such 
an abnormal and exceptional year. 

The bank was registered in London, 
under the Companies Acts of 1862 to 
1890, on December 2, 1892, its present 
offices being at 15 Gracechurch Street, 

The authorized capital is £1,500,000, 
of which the sum of £1,125,000 has been 
subscribed ; the paid-up capital is 
£562,500 ; and the reserve fund 
amounts to £500,000. 

The board of directors consists of Mr. 
R. J. Black (chairman), Mr. James 
Campbell, Mr. J. M. Ryrie, Mr. H. Mel- 
vill Simons, and Sir David Yule. The 
London bankers are the Bank of England 
and the London Joint Stock Bank, Ltd., 
while in Scotland the agents are Messrs. 
R. and E. Scott, Queen Street, Edin- 

The following are the branches and 
agencies : Bombay, Calcutta, Howrah, 
Delhi, Madras, Karachi, Rangoon, 
Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Singapore, 
Penang, Kota Bharu, Kuala Lumpur, 
Batavia, Hongkong, and Shanghai. 

The manager of the Calcutta branch is 
Mr. A. Scott Smith. 


The telegraphic code word " Equus " 
is an admirable one for such a firm as 
Messrs. A. Milton & Co., as they are 
recognized throughout India, Burma, the 
Straits, Australia, and New Zealand as 
being in the forefront of those who 
purchase, sell, train, or keep at livery, 
horses of every description, from the 
handy pony to the thoroughbred racer. 
These activities, however, do not exhaust 

the list of Messrs. Milton & Co.'s opera- 
tions, for they also enjoy a large and 
influential practice as veterinary surgeons, 
and are contractors for forage, grain, and 
condiments. The business was estab- 
lished in the year 1880 by the late Mr. 
Richard Morgan, M.D., M.R.C.V.S., and 
the present proprietor, Mr. A. M. Milton, 
and the extensive premises at 156 Dhur- 
rumtollah Street, in Calcutta (which have 
accommodation for about two hundred 
animals), are known as being one of the 
most famous and best equipped reposi- 
tories in the East. The firm have regular 
consignments of horses from Australia 
and New. Zealand, and these comprise 
racers, steeplechasers, hunters, polo and 
race ponies, chargers, hacks, and trappers, 
together with animals suitable for form- 
ing teams or pairs. The Indian horse 
is not overlooked, however, as some 
really excellent ponies, many of them by 
English or Arab sires, are obtained from 
the north-west and the Punjab, and 
although these show an average height 
of only about 14 hands i in., they are 
extremely hardy and sure-footed. The 
majority of the occupants of the stables 
and paddocks aire sold privately, but 
clients who are unable to pay a personal 
visit to Calcutta may always rely upon 
the sound judgment and care of the firm 
when supplying their wants. It is 'an 
old saying, but a very true one, that a 
purchaser of a horse should always 
appraise the seller equally as well as the 
animal, but Messrs. Milton & Co. are 
fortunate in possessing a well-established 
reputation for the straightforward manner 
in which their business is conducted, and 
they have thus been able to give un- 
bounded satisfaction to customers. 

A most important step was taken when 
the firm secured about 20 acres of land 
at Ballygunge, near Calcutta, as they have 
provided paddocks in which sick or over- 
worked horses are turned out to graze, 
and where youngsters are put through 
a most complete course of breaking and 
training, either harness or saddle. 
Further than this, there is a special track 
where horses are schooled over a series 
of jumps, and when they have finished 
their lessons they may be looked upon as 
safe fencers. One of the fields is set 
apart as a segregation camp, in which 
animals suffering from any contagious 
or infectious disease can be kept under 
treatment, either in the open air or in 
well-ventilated stables. Green barley, 
oats, paddy, guinea grass, and lucerne 
are cultivated at Ballygunge, and trees 

for shelter and shade purposes have been 
extensively planted. 

The hack department is a great boon 
to the inhabitants of Calcutta, as hirers 
can always obtain very stylish broughams 
or landaus (with smart pairs of horses), 
comfortable gharries, phaetons, and other 
vehicles, and these are turned out in the 
most attractive manner. 

Another branch of the business is the 
importation and sale of light Australian 
iron - tyred sulkies, hooded buggies, 
(rubber tyres), American four-wheel 
buggies, and hickory gigs, together 
with English harness and stable requi- 
sites of all kinds. 

The firm are contractors for every 
description of forage for horses or 
cattle, and they keep a large stock of 
oats, gram, barley, bran, linseed, com- 
pressed hay, crushed and mixed grain, 
chaff, hay, straw, and prepared foods for 
milch cows and poultry. 

Special reference should be made to 
the firm's " XL condition mixture " for 
horses, which is not a chemical prepara- 
tion, but is a pure, wholesome food of 
great efficacy in its invigorating and 
muscle-forming properties ; it excels as 
a digestive ingredient ; and its sustain- 
ing qualities have withstood the severest 
of all tests. But this preparation is not 
merely an appetizing adjunct, as it 
possesses certain medicinal qualities 
which expel worms, tends to cure coughs 
and colds, rouse the sluggish liver, and 
to keep the horse in a bright and 
naturally healthy condition. This con- 
diment is the result of years of patient 
study of the constitutional ailments com- 
mon to horseflesh, and since it was placed 
upon the market it has proved to be 
superior to all existing foods of a similar 
character. Thousands of unsolicited tes- 
timonials have been received from clients 
throughout India and the Far East, and 
these letters of appreciation of " XL " 
have been penned after actual tests as 
to its value have been made. 

Messrs. Milton & Co. not only supply 
double and single harness, saddles, 
bridles, and other leather requisites, but 
they are patentees of a preservative 
(specially manufactured in Australia) 
which renders all these goods absolutely 
impervious to water, and it is guaranteed 
to keep them perfectly flexible during 
several months of continual hard use. 

Policies of insurance against the death 
of all classes of horses from disease, or 
from accidents on land or sea, during 
hunting, steeplechasing, or ordinary 

I. Gara(;p. 

2. YARn. 

3. iLKiir OK Motor lorriks svm.iED to the Govermmext, 

4. Paddocks, 




work, or owing to surgical operations of 
an intricate character, are issued by the 
firm at the lowest possible rates. 

As the veterinary department is in the 
capable hands of Mr. Nortnan Gilford, 
M.R.C.V.S., it goes without saying that 
greater skill or more careful attention 
in the various phases of complicated 
maladies could not be offered by any 
other practitioners. 

Although the above branches of Messrs. 
Milton & Co.'s extensive business have 
been growing rapidly since their forma- 
tion, the firm have gladly yielded to the 
wishes of their numerous clients by estab- 
lishing a motor department, and they are 
now sole agents for Fiat, Crossley, 
Maxwell, Dennis, Alldays motors, motor 
lorries, ambulances, and Kerry-Abingdon 
motor cycles. 

The premises, which extend from 
Dhurrumtollah Street to Princep Street, 

of engines, and coach and wheel work, 
together with enamelling and uphol- 

Mr. A. Milton and Mr. M. B. Milton 
bestow personal supervision over all 
matters, and they have five European 
assistants and about 250 natives in their 



The Calcutta City Banking Corpora- 
tion, Ltd., was established at Calcutta on 
September 29, 1863, but the name was 
altered to the National Bank of India, 
Ltd., on March 2, 1864. The original 
premises were in Council House Street, 
and although the staflf was largely in- 
creased in number from time to time 
owing to the exceedingly rapid growth 
of business, it was not until the year 
1902 that the company obtained further 

is now available for each of the numerous 
departments, and the exceedingly fine 
banking hall has a floor area of 23,300 
sq. ft. 

The company was registered in London 
under the Companies Act of 1862 on 
March 23, 1866, its head offices being 
at 26 Bishopsgate Street, E.C. Branches 
have been established at Calcutta, 
Bombay, Madras, Karachi, Chittagong, 
.Amritsar, Cawnpore, Delhi, Lahore, 
Tuticorin, Cochin, Rangoon, Mandalay, 
Colombo, Kandy, Newera Eliya, Aden, 
Steamer Point, Aden ; at Zanzibar, Mom- 
basa, Nairobi, Nakura, and Kisumu in 
British East Africa ; and at Entebbe, 
Kampala, and Jinja in Uganda. The 
ninety-fifth report of the directors 
(together with a statement of accounts 
to December 31, 19 14) was submitted 
to the shareholders at the annual meet- 
ing, held in London on March 23, 19 15, 

contain airy stables, loose boxes, coach- 
houses, harness-rooms, carriage-building 
shops, stores, shoeing forge, garage, 
offices, surgery, and other accommoda- 
tion, and special attention is now being 
devoted to the repairs and adjustment 


Thk liAXHiNii Hall. I'hofo by E. I.omiz. 

accommodation by removing to their 
property at 104 Clive Street. This 
building, however, soon proved to be too 
small for the requirements of the bank, 
and it was enlarged to its present size 
in the year 1914. Abundance of room 


and, notwithstanding the crippling eflfect 
upon commerce caused by the European 
war, the very satisfactory position of the 
bank was shown by the fact that the net 
profits for the previous year, after pro- 
viding for bad and doubtful debts, 



amounted to £347,995 13s. 4d., inclusive 
of a balance brought forward of £78,625 
2S. 4d. An ad interim dividend at the 
rate of 12 per cent, per annum, free of 
income tax, and amounting to £60,000, 
had been paid for the half year ending 
on June 30, 191 4, and the directors then 
recommended a further dividend at the 
rate of 16 per cent, per annum, and a 
bonus of 2 per cent., making 16 per cent. 
for the whole year. They further pro- 

business is carried on, and stocks, shares, 
and other securities are purchased, sold, 
or kept in safe custody. 

The board of directors consists of Mr. 
Robert Campbell, chairman, Mr. Robert 
Williamson, deputy chairman, and Mr. 
.\. v. Dunlop Best, Sir John P. Hewett, 
G.C.S.I., CLE., Mr. Robert Miller, 
Mr. Alfred Simson, Mr. J. N. Stuart, 
Mr. J. .A. Toomey. The bankers of 
the company are the Bank of England, 

tralia. The premises of the company in 
Calcutta occupy an unrivalled position at 
26-27 Dalhousie Square, immediately op- 
posite the General Post Office, and prac- 
tically in the centre of the leading mer- 
cantile houses and the other exchange 

Fixed deposits are received upon 
favourable terms, which may be ascer- 
tained from the managers. Indian Govern- 
ment securities, stocks, and shares, are 




posed to add £75,000 to the reserve fund, 
raising it to £1,175,000, to write off 
£10,000 from the house property account, 
and to add £10,000 to the officers' pen- 
sion fund, leaving a balance of £92,995 
13s. 4d. to be carried forward. The 
amount of the subscribed capital is 
£2,000,000, of which the sum of 
£1,000,000 has been paid up by 1,231 
shareholders. Interest is allowed by the 
bank on current deposit accounts at the 
rate of 2 per cent, per annum on balances 
from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 1,00,000, and fixed 
deposits are received for definite periods 
on terms which are obtainable at any of 
the company's offices. General banking 

the National Provincial Bank of England, 
Ltd., and the National Bank of Scot- 
land, Ltd., while the manager of the 
Calcutta branch is Mr. \V. J. K. 


This enterprising institution was origin- 
ally started as an adjunct to Renter's Tele- 
graphic Agency Company, but its area of 
operations extended so widely and with such 
rapidity that it now conducts exchange and 
general banking business with England 
(through its head office at 43 Coleman 
Street, London), South Africa, and Aus- 

purchased or sold, and bills payable in 
Europe, Africa, Australia, India, and in 
other countries are negotiated or collected. 
Interest, salaries, and pensions, are col- 
lected, and the safe custody of valuable 
documents is undertaken Current ac- 
counts are opened free of charge and in- 
terest is allowed at usual rates on daily 
balances of Rs. 500. 

The capital of the company is 
£1,000,000, made up of 100,000 shares 
of £10, of which the sum of £500,000 has 
been fully paid. 

The directors, well-known financial men 
in the city of London, are Mr. Gerald 
Williams (chairman), the Hon. Mark Y. 


Napier, Mr. George Grinnell Milne, and 
the Hon. Edmund W. Parlcer. 


Calcutta and many other Eastern cities 
situated within a few degrees from the 
tropics would not be so endurable were 
it not for those havens of rest and refresh- 
ment, in the form of high-class restaurants, 
which havt come into prominence during 
the past thirty or forty years. Their 
elegant but comfortably furnished rooms, 
sheltered from the heat of an Indian sun 
and cooled by the use of electric fans, 
present the most fascinating opportunities 
for young and old alike to enjoy those 
periods of relaxation which occasion 
offers, while at the same time they are 
served, in the best European style, with 
delicacies of the most delectable 
character, manufactured by princes in 
the art of confectionery. How tongues 
wag and teaspoons rattle at Peliti's in 
Calcutta (every one knows Peliti's), which 
is one of the most famous restaurants in 
the Eastern hemisphere ! 

The present proprietors may perhaps 
tell of the days when Mr. Federico 
Peliti, the founder of the firm, left Italy 
to enter the service of the Earl of Mayo — 
a former Viceroy — as chief confectioner, 
this being the first appointment of the 
kind in Government House; they will 
refer to the assassination of the Viceroy 
at Port St. Blair, and then one may hear 
how their predecessor commenced busi- 
ness on his own account in Calcutta in 
the year 1869. 

This was a bold step, involving serious 
difficulties, as luxuries such as Mr. Peliti 
wished to place before the public were 
absolutely unknown in India, and further, 
there were no chances of his obtaining 
skilled makers of such goods in the whole 
of the country. He persevered, however, 
practically single-handed, for a number 
of years, and eventually he was compelled 
by the increasing size of the business to 
obtain qualified assistants from Italy. 

A very notable expansion in the turn- 
over followed very rapidly, and it was 
not long before extensive premises were 
secured at 1 1 Government Place, and 
immediately opposite Government House. 
Attention was then directed to hotel 
accommodation and catering on a much 
larger scale, and the founder's two sons, 
Edoardo and Federico Peliti, are now 
owners of the splendid restaurant build- 
mg in Calcutta and of the Grand Hotel 
at Simla. 

A very large business is now carried on 
in the manufacture of wedding and other 
cakes, chocolates, an endless variety of 
sweets, and pastry of all kinds, while the 
stores used and exhibited for sale in the 
restaurant are made in Carignano, in 
Italy, and are imported specially for the 

Catering is undertaken for wedding 
parties, entertainments, and picnics; the 
firm are caterers by Royal Appointment 
to His Majesty the King-Emperor, in 
addition to holding similar warrants from 
all the Viceroys of India and Governors 
of Bengal since the time of Lord Mayo; 
they are official restaurateurs to the Turf 
and other clubs in Calcutta; and they 
enter into important contracts for the 
supply of all refreshments to Indian 
chiefs on special occasions, such as the 
visits of Viceroys and Governors, and for 
tiger-shooting parties. 

Gold medals were awarded to Messrs. 
Peliti at Exhibitions held in Paris, Turin, 
and Calcutta, and they possess quite a 
collection of warrants of appointment and 

There are a spacious tearoom and shop 
on the ground floor, and a fine restaurant 
and balcony tearoom on the first floor, the 
last named being one of the most popular 
resorts in the city. 

The partners give direct personal 
supervision over a numerous and fully 
trained staff of attendants. 


The Planters' Stores Company, Ltd., 
formed in the year 1872 by a number of 
influential tea-planters in the district of 
Dibrugarh of the Province of Assam, was, 
six years later, incorporated in England 
under the title at the heading of these 
notes, and its business concerns have 
developed with such rapidity and to such 
an extent, tliat important branches or 
agencies are now opened not only at i i 
Clive Street, Calcutta, but also at Chitta- 
gong, and practically throughout Bengal, 
.Assam, and the Federated Malay States. 

The company are managing or selling 
agents for about twenty-five tea estates, 
for several coal, stone, and lime works, 
and some rubber and other companies ; 
but they have for a niunber of years made 
a special feature of, and have been work- 
ing up a virtual monopoly for, " Sirocco " 
tea machinery and fans for all the tea- 
planting districts of Assam and Northern 
India generally. No name is better 


known in connection with machinery used 
in all the processes of the manufacture 
of tea than that of " Sirocco," the trade- 
mark distinguishing the machinery made 
by Messrs. Davidson & Co., Ltd., of 
Belfast, for whom the Planters' Stores 
and Agency Company, Ltd., are sole 
representatives in Northern India. 

In former days it was the usual prac- 
tice in tea-drying machinery to draw the 
hot air through the drying chamber by 
suction, but in the " Sirocco " endless 
chain pressure driers this principle is 
reversed, the air being forced through 
under pressure, a new departure marking 
a distinct advance, in that the hot air 
presses down upon the upper surfaces of 
the leaves, and dries them almost as 
rapidly as the lower surfaces. These 
driers require no brickwork in their erec- 
tion, and they comprise three distinct 
parts— the heater, the fan, and the drying 

Many improvements have during recent 
years been added to the heater of the 
multitubular type, all of these tending to 
convenience in working, to economy in 
fuel consumption, and durability. The 
products of cpnsumption pass from the 
furnace to the right and left into two 
chambers at the back of the heater, thence 
through the top groups of tubes into the 
front chambers, and then through the 
bottom groups to the lower back 
chambers, which communicate with the 

.All multitubular air heaters which are 
used in conjunction with the endless chain 
pressure driers, can now be supplied with 
a mechanical stoker of the latest improved 
type, and using forced draught. This 
form of stoking possesses two chief ad- 
vantages, as it effects economy both in 
fuel consumption and in labour. The 
consumption of coal is reduced on account 
of the complete and smokeless combus- 
tion of the fuel, which produces a 
uniformly high furnace temperature, with 
a bright, incandescent fire, and ensures 
that the gases are burnt before entering 
the tubes, whilst the amount of labour 
required is much less than with hand- 
firing, as the attendant has only to fill the 
coal hopper at fairly long intervals, and 
the fire has to be cleaned about twice a 
day only. 

The " stoker " works on the underfeed 
])rinciple ; that is to say, the fresh fuel 
is su]>plied continuously from below, and 
is advanced upwards towards the zone of 
combustion. The coal is emptied into 
the hopper, the base of which communi- 




). HtfVfswiUKX Pavii.iox Ar mi-: ;!oiii.ogicai. Garpexs Calcitta. 






,V Main I'it CixniM. Diiakmaiianh Coi.i.ikliy, 




cates with the horizontal trough or com- 
bustion retort within the furnace of the 
heater. This trough contains a tapered 
screw, or worm conveyer, which is 
actuated by gearing connected with a 
countershaft placed above the heater, 
and by rotation of the worm the fuel is 
advanced from the hopper into the retort, 
and overflows in a rounded mound on to 
the sloping firebars, where the coal is 
coked, i.e. deprived of its volatile gases. 
The latter, being mixed with air intro- 
duced at this point, and escape being 
only possible by rising through the glow- 
ing coke above, are heated to such a high 
temperature that they are completely con- 
sumed without smoke, while the combus- 
tion of the fixed carbon of the coal is 
completed by the air introduced through 
the apertures between the firebars. In 
this manner a clear, bright surface of 
incandescent fuel is always obtained, with- 
out the inevitable fluctuations of tempera- 
ture in the furnace consequent upon firing 
by hand. The ashes and slack (of which 
the quantity is usually very small) pass 
down the sloping firebars to each side 
of the furnace, whence they can be 
periodically raked out through the two 
doors in the front of the furnace. 

Mr. Richard Rowe has acted as chair- 
man of the company since 1904, and it is 
largely due to his enterprise and shrewd 
cominon sense that the expansion of the 
business has been maintained so steadily. 
The company occupied premises in 
Mission Row, Calcutta, in earlier days, 
but they removed to their present 
quarters in a very fine new building in 
Clive Street in the year 1913. 

The London offices of the company are 
at 17 St. Helen's Place, E.C., and the 
telegraphic address is " Planters." 


The history of the present age is a 
record of progress in all directions, but 
in engineering matters (which are being 
dealt with at the moment) one need not 
go far afield to witness the astounding* 
advance which has been made. 

The old - fashioned trek - wagons of 
Africa and the palanquins, the pack bul- 
locks, and the coolie carriers of India, 
would long ago have been swept into 
oblivion if those countries had been 
developed to such an extent that good 
metalled roads were a possibility, hut 
in the traffic of our cities and towns one 
sees daily numbers of motor-lorries con- 
veying huge loads of merchandise from 

place to place in an incredibly short space 
of time, thus displacing the horse or mule 
carts for transport service, which are 
almost as rare as 1 o-rupee notes on the 
green sward of the maidan. 

The greatest revolution, however, is 
noticeable in the present-day facilities 
for business or pleasure purposes afforded 
by the luxurious motor-cars which are in 
constant use by professional and commer- 
cial men, or by private persons who are 
only too glad to turn their backs upon 
cvil-smelling streets scorched by high 
temperatures and rendered unpleasant by 
dust of roads and smoke from chimneys. 
The motor vehicles of 1 9 1 6 are won- 
drously fast in speed, and, by their 
luxurious furnishings and fittings, extend 
invitations, which one finds it impossible 
to refuse, to partake of the intense 
enjoyment to be derived from a spin of 
40 or 50 miles amid gorgeous scenery in 
various parts of the globe. 

One of the leading motor establish- 
ments in Bengal where one can obtain 
magnificent cars with all modern improve- 
ments and trolleys for heavy goods, 
together with all kinds of accessories and 
fittings required in the rebuilding or 
repair of any kind of petrol-driven 
vehicles, is that of Mr. T. R. Pratt, of 
301-2 Bowbazar Street, in Calcutta. 

The business as at present constructed 
was established in Marcli 1907, prior to 
which date Mr. T. R. Pratt, as manager 
for Messrs. Davidson & Co., in Northern 
India, represented in Calcutta : Messrs. 
Babcock and Wilcox; Samuel Osborn & 
Co., Ltd., Clyde Steel Works, Sheffield; 
Messrs. G. and J. Weir, Ltd., Cathcart, 
Glasgow ; the Automatic Teleplione 
Manufacturing Company, Ltd., Liver- 
pool ; Messrs. D. H. and G. Ilaggi/e, 
Ltd., Sunderland, and other firms, whose 
representation (excepting the first named) 
he still holds, together with the Turbon 
Patent Fan Company, Ltd., Llanmore, 
Llanelly, South Wales ; the Daimler 
Motor Company, Coventry; the Sunbeam 
Motor Company, Wolverhampton ; the 
Standard Motor Car Company, Ltd., 
Coventry; the Talbot Motor Car Com- 
pany, London; Messrs. A. Darracq & Co., 
London; the Perry Motor Company, Ltd., 
Birmingham; the Commercial Cars, Ltd., 
Lviton; and the Willys-Overland, Incor- 
jwrated, Toledo, Ohio, U.S.A. 

Mr. Pratt is an engineer and machinery 
merchant, and the scope of the l)usiness 
is varied and comprehensive. Many 
notable contracts liave been entrusted to 
him and have been successfully carried 

through. The Government of India pur- 
chased from him T,Ti'i tons of copper wire 
for aerial lighting wires at the Imperial 
Durbar at Delhi in 191 I, and he was 
responsible for the supply and upkeep of 
64 motor-cars for the Imperial Camp at 
Delhi and Nepal for His Majesty King 
George V, the Nepal shikar party, and 
H.H. Sir Chandra Shanlsher Jang, 
G.C.B., G.C.S.I., G.C.V.O., Prime 
Minister and Marslial. 

The automatic telephone installation 
at Simla in 1911 was an enterprise 
attended with a considerable amount of 
anxiety, and as it was the first equip- 
ment of its kind in India its success 
was imperative. The erection, when com- 
pleted, found instant favour, and the 
standard of efficiency achieved vindicated 
the striking claims made on behalf of the 
" Automatic." The service, as now pro- 
vided in Simla, has resulted in other large 
contracts being placed for similar installa- 

From a small nucleus in the motor-car 
industry, this branch of the business has 
gone forward with unerring speed. Mr. 
Pratt realized the potentialities of the 
motor in India, and the agencies which 
his enterprise secured have been ample 
reward for his perspicacity. The 
branches of the firm at Delhi and Dhan- 
bad have contributed their quota, both as 
regards motor-cars and the engineering 
side of the business. The well-known 
" Overland " car is chiefly responsible for 
the wonderful increase and development 
of the motor-car department. The Over- 
land Company were among the first (if 
not the original firm) to produce a reliable 
car with electric starting and lighting sets, 
together with complete equipment, at an 
almost incredibly low price, and the 
energy resulting from the concentration 
of massed organization to produce such 
a car has justified itself in the eminence 
in which it stands in the world to-day. 

The agency for " Commer " cars was 
one which the firm did well to obtain. 
This vehicle is one of commercial utility, 
and is one of the leading transport lorries 
yet produced. It is entirely British, a 
triumph of British material and workman- 
ship. The " Commer " has manifested 
its supremacy in no uncertain way during 
the present war, and its use in this 
country has demonstrated how practical 
and economical motor transport is as com- 
pared with the slow- and unsatisfactory 
service provided by indigenous methods 
of conveyance. 

The workshop department has also 

I. Head Office and Garage. 


2. Part of Interior ok Gakage. ,i. Corxer of Machine Shops, I.owkr Road 

4. Corner of the Warehouse in Mission Row. 



advanced in concert with others, and the 
accommodation of the premises now occu- 
pied not allowing of further extension, 
the works are being transferred to a more 
extensive site. The work, turned out 
under skilled management, has reflected 
highly on the supervision and upon the 
workmen employed. 

Messrs. D. H. and G. Haggie, Ltd., 
Sunderland ; The ropes manufactured by 
this firm have always been more or less 
known throughout the coalfields. The 
quality of material used and the reliable 
service they invariably provide have un- 
deniably maintained the reputation they 
have always enjoyed, and have secured for 
them a popularity throughout the Indian 
coalfields which must be intensely gratify- 
ing both to the makers and to the local 

Samuel Osborn & Co., Ltd., ShefKeld : 
Space does not permit a record in detail 
of the activities of this firm, as the rami- 
fications of their business are so numerous 
that reference can only be made to a 
limited conspectus. They were the 
original makers of " Mushet " high-speed 
steel, which at the time of its inception 
caused such a sensation in the engineering 
world. " Mushet," though somewhat 
changed in formula, has held its own 
against more recent productions, and 
invariably asserts an ascendancy over 
similar materials against which it is 
demonstrated. " Mushet " high - speed 
drills are also commonly used, and 
their supremacy has also been well 
maintained. Mr. Pratt has been zealous 
in his claims on behalf of Osborn's pro- 
ducts, the high-grade materials supplied 
having substantiated all assertions as to 
their superiority, and have established 
them throughout the country on an 
unassailable footing. 

The Turix)n Patent Fan Company, 
Ltd., Llanelly : Mr. Pratt has only 
recently acquired this agency, which, 
combined with the numerous other 
agencies he possesses, should turn to good 
account. The " Turbon " fan follows the 
latest developments in mining-fan con- 
struction, one special feature being the 
facility with which a damaged blade can 
be extracted and replaced. Radially the 
blades are narrow, and axially run the 
whole width of the fan, while the cubic 
discharge and pressure capacity of the 
latter are unsurpassed by any other in 

G. and J. Weir, Ltd., Cathcart, Glas- 
gow : Every engineer is familiar with a 
" Weir " auxiliary. Weir's best-known 

products are boiler feed pumps, air 
pumps, hydraulic pumps, locomotive feed 
pumps, oil-fuel pumps, evaporators and 
distilling plants, and circulating pumps 
and condensers. The concentration of 
expert, technical, and scientific efforts 
specialized and devoted to definite lines 
of research, tlie comparison and analysis 
of results drawn from an ever-increasing 
r;inge of examples, have all contributed 
to make Weir's auxiliary machinery the 
best and most reliable in the world. The 
latest and most up-to-date equipment 
and manufacturing facilities, a closely 
systematized industrial and commercial 
organization, a generous conception of 
duty to their clientile, and a high ideal 
of quality and character in their products, 
are also factors which have obtained for 
Weir's products the reputation which they 

The Vaughan Pulley Company : This 
is one of the foremost firms in Great 
Britain engaged in the production of 
pulleys, shafting, gearing, and high efii- 
ciency power transmission. The con- 
siderable experience which this firm has 
accumulated is at the disposal of those 
interested in the question of power trans- 
mission, and they are always pleased to 
diagnose any special requirements, and to 
assist in settling such problems as may 
arise in planning mechanical and elec- 
trical power distributions. The Vaughan 
Pulley Company maintain a high degree 
of accuracy and unrivalled quality in 
materials and workmanship, factors which 
have earned for their goods an enviable 

Mr. Pratt has been resident in India 
for the past 33 years, and, like most 
successful commercial men, has many and 
varied activities. He is keenly interested 
in sport, and is a familiar figure in racing, 
motoring, and golfing circles. Mr. Pratt 
devotes a good deal of his leisure to 
riding, and those of the old school who 
were familiar with the turf in the late 
eighties will still remember him as a 
prominent .gentlema:n rider. He now 
owns a few promising horses. 

Mr. Pratt also takes a lively interest 
in municipal affairs, and is one of the 
four members of the Bengal Chamber of 
Commerce elected by that body as repre- 
sentatives on the Corporation. He has 
held this honour for the past 13 years. 


It is not often that a firm with a life 
of only some half a dozen years can boast 
such a record of progress and important 

work accomplished as that of Messrs. 
Pyne, Hughman & Co., Ltd., of Grosvenor 
House, Old Court House Street, in the 
city of Calcutta. 

The firm was established in London 
in 1910 by Mr. C. A. B. Pyne and Mr. 
E. M. Hughman (under the name of 
Pyne, Hughman & Co.), and in the same 
year they commenced business in Calcutta 
at 4 Lyons Range. The founders pos- 
sessed sound, practical experience, and 
such boundless energy was manifested l)y 
them that a most remarkable develop- 
ment of their interests was noticeable even 
in the first year of their existence, and 
they are now {1916) well known through- 
out the length and breadth of India. 
They have erected more than a hundred 
electric lifts in various parts of the 
country, and have carried out upwards of 
a hundred installations in northern dis- 
tricts, among which were those at Govern- 
ment Houses at Ranchi, Bankipore, and 
Chittagong. Many contracts for light- 
ing, involving the expenditure of con- 
siderable sums of money, have been 
executed in Calcutta, and chief among 
these are for work done at the new offices 
of Messrs. Graham & Co., the Planters' 
Stores and .\gency Company, Ltd., the 
.'\llahabad and National Banks, and the 
Dharma Samavaya Mansions in Corpora- 
tion Street, the last named being the 
largest building of its kind in India. 

At the present time the firm arc 
engaged in the erection of thirty 2-ton 
electric goods lifts and fifty-nine 2-ton 
electric travelling cranes for the new- 
docks now in course of construction at 
Garden Reach for the Commissioners of 
the Port of Calcutta. These are the 
largest orders for lifts and cranes ever 
placed with any individual firm of 
engineering contractors in India. 

Designs for a new bridge to replace 
the pontoon which spans the Hooghly 
River between Calcutta and Howrah were 
invited recently, and the plan submitted 
by Messrs. Pyne, Hughman & Co., as 
agents for a large firm, was, with a few 
slight variations, accepted by the Port 
Commissioners of Calcutta, who awarded 
a prize of £3,000 for the work. 

Messrs. Pyne, Hughman & Co. com- 
peted at the Allahabad Exhibition in 191 i 
and obtained numerous gold, silver, and 
bronze medals for their exhibits, and as 
agents for the Aster Engineering Com- 
pany, Ltd., they were awarded the gold 
medal for the famous " ."^ster " engine, 
which also received the Grand Prix .it the 
Brussels Exhibition in 1910. 


2. Harri.vctox Ma.ssio.v.s. 3. TiiK Allahabad Bank, Ltd. 

4. Okikxtai. Life Issirax'ce Biildixgs. 


I. Graham ft Co.'a Officks. 

a. New Telecrai-m OI'Fick, Calcitia. 3. Xatioxai. Bank, Ltu., Calcutta. 

4. Port Commissioners' Transit Shed. 


, Shaw, Wai.uck s Co.'s Okhck, ■( haxksiiai.l Stkkkt. 2. The Hooghly Flour Mii.i.. 3. Stkrii.izf.d Asimae. Mkai. Factory, Phapi'A. 


I'licii hcurne S/ Sht^ttnit 


The business continued to grow to surli 
an extent that early in the year 191 6 a 
limited liability company was formed, 
with the object of providing for a still 
further expansion. Messrs. Gladstone, 
Wyllie & Co.— one of the leading firms 
in Calcutta— were appointed managing 
agents, and the directors of the company 
are the Hon. Sir F. H. Stewart, CLE. 
(of Messrs. Gladstone, Wyllie & Co.), 
chairman ; Messrs. Gerald Stapledon (of 
Messrs. Morgan & Co.). C. A. B. Pyne, 
and E. M. Hughman. 

works. Special mention may be made 
of marble columns and balustrade sup- 
plied for the staircase in Galstaun's Park; 
a marble balustrade and dado for stair- 
case at the new Palace of the Nawab of 
Murshidabad: marble balustrade for 
verandas in the V'iziaram Palace of the 
Maharaja of V'izianagram at Korukonda; 
marble balustrade and handrail for stair- 
case of the Maharaja of Panchkote's New 
Palace at Kashipur, Manbhum : marble 
for the new Council House Room at 
Delhi; marble altars for St. James's, St. 

A Corner ok tiik Marble Yarp. 2 Maibi.k Sta[i;ca k and Rams at Oalstaixs Park. 

New workshops and godowns have 
recently been erected at I British Indian 
Street, under the name of " Porcupine 
Buildings," and the present offices in 
Grosvenor House are situated in a hand- 
some new building in the centre of the 
commercial life of Calcutta. 


It is claimed that the godowns and 
warehouses at 205 Old China Bazar 
Street, Calcutta, belonging to Mr. L. E. 
Salsiccioni, contain the largest and most 
varied stock of marble, ceramic, and floor- 
ing and glazed wall-tiles in the Province 
of Bengal. 

'llie business was established in the 
year 1902, and it has expanded with great 
rapidity owing to the most satisfactory 
manner in which the proprietor l)as 
carried out a large number of important 

Teresa's, and other churches in Calcutta ; 
and three massive marble staircases at 
I'Isplanadc Mansions, in Calcutta, etc. 
The list of Mr. Salsiccioni's patrons is a 
long one, and it includes practically all 
the railway systems in India, ru'.ers of the 
principal native .States, the leading con- 
tractors' and merchants' firms, and a great 
many notable people in the country. 

Flooring and other tiles, as well as 
marble, arc imported monthly from Italy, 
while glazed wall-tiles are obtained from 
English factories; and between 100,000 
and 200,000 square feet of marble and 
a large quantity of manufactured goods 
are usually kept on the premises. 



This company (, incorporated in 
England; have their registered ol^ces 
at 53 Victoria Street, Westminster, 

London, S.W., and they are well known 
throughout the world as engineers in con- 
nection with signalling upon railways. ■ 

Their works and offices in Calcutta are 
situated at 17 Convent Road, Entally, 
and their telegraphic address is " Inter- 
lock," Calcutta. 



There are several commercial houses in 
Calruita whose history is a striking illus- 
tration of success obtained by capable and 
energetic men in a comparatively short 
period of time, and among the most 
prominent of these firms is Messrs. Shaw, 
Wallace & Co., of Bankshall Street, Cal- 
cutta, who occupy " Wallace House," one 
of the finest blocks of office buildings 
in the city. 

Their business was established in an 
unpretentious manner in 1886 when they 
took over some of the interests of Messrs. 
Shaw, Finlayson & Co., and it has now 
become one of the largest of the great 
firms of East India merchants and agents 
established in Calcutta. 

The founders were Mr. David Shaw and 
Mr. C. W. Wallace, and at the outset they 
were concerned chiefly in the management 
of the large tea interests of Mr. R. Gordon 

It was not long before a commencement 
was made with the importation of Man- 
chester piece goods, and the firm is to- 
day one of the most prominent importers 
of cotton textile goods in India. The 
next substantial addition was the absorp- 
tion of the firm of Messrs. Mitchell, Reid 
& Co., and with it was obtained the 
imjiortant agency of the Burma Oil Com- 
pany. The firm have since that date boon 
intimately concerned with the phenomen- 
ally rapid growth of that great enterprise, 
and they have, further, recently acquired 
the agency of the .\nglo-Persian Oil Com- 
pany. Considerable extension of the 
firm's operations took place between the 
years 1902 and 1908, when branch offices 
were opened in Bombay, Madras, Karachi, 
Corhi:i, Mormugao, Coconada, and Tuti- 
<orin, and, a year or two later, in Colombo. 
Side by side with this widening of its 
scope, the business activities of the firm 
increased with great rapidity, and each 
succeeding year witnessed some fresh 
and important development. 

The gradual development of Indian 
industries has presented great oppor- 
tunities, which this entcrpribing business 
house has liecn quirk to embrace, and in 
addition to the large interests referred to 


above, Messrs. Shaw, Wallace & Co. are 
managing agents of a flourishing cotton 
mill in the Central Provinces, of two large 
and successful flour mills in Calcutta, of 
numerous collieries in Bengal and the 
Central Provinces, and a chemical factory 
in Bombay wliich is the largest of its kind 
in India. 

The firm are large importers of piece 
goods, sugar, salt, machinery, jjunips, rock 
drills, chemical fertilizers, aerial ropeways, 
wire ropes, timber and various metals; 
whilst they arc exporters of gunnies, jute, 
rice, wheat, and all other descriptions of 
food grains, linseed, flour, hemp, hides, 
coal, copra, and almost every variety of 
the produce of India. 

Among their other activities, they are 
bunkering contractors on a large scale ; 
they control a diamond-drilling syndicate 
upon whom great demands have been 
made for the e.xploration of metalliferous 
lands; and they are the largest manu- 
facturers and suppliers of cheinical fer- 
tilizers in India. 

Insurance business, too, is an important 
branch which deserves mention. The firm 
are agents for the Royal Insurance Com- 
pany, the Liverpool, London, and Globe 
Insurance Company, Ltd., the Sun Life 
Insurance Company of Canada, the Union . 
Marine Insurance Company, the British 
Dominions Insurance Company, LT'nion 
Fire Insurance Company, Ltd., Paris, the 
General Accident Assurance Corporation, 
the E.Kcess Insurance Company, Ltd., and, 
in Madras, the Queensland Insurance 
Company, all of which are first-class 
companies of world-wide reputation. In- 
surances are effected in connection with 
fire, life, marine, accident, loss of profits, 
motor-car, horse, jewellery, burglary, 
fidelity, earthquake, and storm. 

Messrs. Shaw, Wallace & Co. arc also 
in a position to arrange insurances at 
Lloyds Shipping Offices in London. Their 
corresponding firm in London is Messrs. 
R. (j. Shaw & Co., of Winchester House, 
Did Broad Street, E.G. 


Only twelve years Viave elapsed since 
Mr. F. A. Sheehan, late engineer officer 
of the Royal Indian Marine, commenced 
business as a mechanical engineer and 
contractor, by establishing the Albert Iron 
Works at 25 South Road, Entally, a 
most centrally situated suburb of Cal- 
cutta, but that period has sufticcd to bring 
his establishment into a prominent posi- 
tion among the industrial enterprises of 

Eastern Bengal. His sound practical ex- 
perience soon caused him to be recog- 
nized as a leading figure in commer- 
cial circles, with the result that he is 
to-day the sole proprietor of an exceed- 
ingly flourishing concern. Trade is 
carried on under the style of F. .'\. 
Sheehan & Co., and tlie firm are now 
manufacturers of light railway rolling 
stock, iron and brass founders, tin and 
copper smiths, and structural iron 
workers, while a large stafi' of skilled 
artisans, supervised by highly qualified 
Europeans, are engaged in cfl^ecting 
repairs to all kinds of machinery. 

Mr. Sheehan is, however, in the proud 
position of being the inventor and 
patentee of metal water tanks, or pakhals, 
which have been adopted for military 
purposes on instructions from the .\rmy 
Headquarters in India. :\ regular supply 
of pure water to troops in ba;rracks, on 
a line of march, or in actual warfare, 
is one of the most difficult problems with 
which commanding officers are con- 
fronted, and the Sheehan pattern for 
pack-mule carriage has been found to be 
more suitable than any other kind 
hitherto used. The chief features of these 
tanks are their portability and lightness 
in weight, while their specially devised 
patent draw-out flush-cocks are exceed- 
ingly simple in construction, and cannot 
possil)ly get out of order. Another dis- 
tinct advantage is that they are strapped 
in such a position on the backs of trans- 
port animals that the latter have absolute 
freedom in action, and are thereby kept 
in healthy condition. 

The weight of a pair of empty tanks 
is 26 lb., full ones turn the scale at 
190 lb., and the capacity of the two is 
16,' gallons. 

Major-Gcncral Kitson, Quartermaster- 
General in India, addressed a circular 
letter from the Army Headquarters at 
Simla, in October 1909, to the generals 
commanding divisions at Peshawar, Rawal 
Pindi, Lahore, Quetta, Mhow, Poona, 
Meerut, Lucknow, Secunderabad, and 
Burma, and the Derajat, Kohat, Bannu, 
and Aden Brigades, in which he said : 
" It has been decided to adopt a metal 
water tank for pack-mule carriage, manu- 
factured by Messrs. F. .\. Sheehan & Co., 
engineers, Calcutta, in place of the present 
pattern. I am to request that, as the 
stocks of the latter become unserviceable, 
they may be replaced by the tanks of 
the ■ Sheehan ' pattern." 

Since the commencement of the Euro- 
pean war Mr. Sheehan has been engaged 

wholly in the manufacture of military 

stor-'s and equipment, including water 

tanks, which are being made at the rate 

of at least seventy-five daily. 

The workshops cover a very large area 

of ground, and they are well equipped 

with the latest type of machinery and 

l)lant, which is driven by electric jiower. 



Notwithstanding the increasing compe- 
tition among insurance offices throughout 
the world, the South British Company has 
continued to make steady progress in 
India and the Far East since its establish- 
ment in Calcutta in the year 1 88 5, and 
it has justly earned a very high reputa- 
tion for the prompt and liberal manner 
in which claims are dealt with. Thirty 
years ago one small room and a couple 
of Europeans, assisted by a few Indian 
clerks, sufficed for the conduct of the 
business, whereas to-day the company has 
its own palatial premises in the heart 
of the commercial centre of Calcutta, and 
within a stone's-throw of the principal 
banks and mercantile houses. Branches 
or agencies have been opened in nearly 
all the principal towns in the Far East, 
as well as in South Africa and 

Mr. Victor Murray, who is the manager 
for the Far East, and controls all the 
company's affairs from Calcutta as far as 
Yokohama, has had a lifelong experi- 
ence in insurance matters, and his enter- 
prising spirit has contributed very largely 
to the successful position the South 
British Company now holds. Mr. 
Murray has taken a leading part in the 
affairs of the Calcutta Marine Insurance 
.'\ssociatioii, and has been its chairman 
for many years, and is one of the most 
popular figures in business circles in Cal- 
cutta. Mr. Murray has been very ably 
supported by his assistant manager, Mr. 
G. F. Ross, who has been associated with 
the company for very many years, of 
which over twenty-one have been spent 
in tlie Eastern service of the company. 
Mr. Ross also has been closely identified 
with the Marine Insurance Association, 
and was chairman in 191 5. 

The capital of the company is 
£2,000,000 (of which £1,000,000 is 
subscribed), while the large amount of 
reserve funds is a striking proof of its 
stability as a business concern. 

The home office of the company is at 
Jerusalem Chambers, 2 Cowper's Court, 
Cornhill, London, E.C. 

I. General View ok Workshops. 

2. A Corner of the Opex Yard. 3. Interior of Tix axu Coi'Pkrs.miths' Shop. 

5, Blacksmiths' Shop and Foindky. 







4. Outer Office. 




It is not surprising that the country 
to the north of the Tweed should be 
regarded as the home of life assurance, 
seeing that the fellow-countrymen of 
Burns are proverbially thrifty, and have 
always been conspicuous for the ability 
which they have displayed in the manage- 
ment of public as well as private financial 
imdertakings. They were not slow in 
realizing the necessity for making pro- 
vision for themselves and their families, 
and the possibilities of effecting this by 
means of a policy of insurance appealed 
to them with considerable force. The 
" Standard " is one of many institu- 
tions in Scotland which deal only in life 
business in its various forms, and as it 
does not accept marine, fire, or accident 
risks, the large amount of its accumu- 
lated funds is available for fulfilling con- 
tracts in the only branch in which it is 

The company was formed in Edinburgh 
in the year 1825 under the name of the 
Life Insurance Company of Scotland, but 
this title was changed to the " Standard 
in 1832. a special Act of Parliament being 
passed in that year to confirm the rules 
and regulations. The statute sets forth 
that the objects of the company are " to 
effect or make insurances on lives and 
survivorships, to make or effect all such 
other insurances connected with life, to 
grant, purchase, and sell annuities for 
lives or otherwise, to grant endowments 
for children or other persons, and to pur- 
chase and sell reversionary rights, and 
to receive investments of money for 

The " Standard " was not only estab- 
lished and conducted on sound economic 
principles, but its rates of premium were 
so reasonable, and its manner of settling 
claims was so prompt and generous, that 
a very rapid growth of the business took 
place. About twenty years after the in- 
ception of the company the directors had 
reasonable grounds for believing that 
India and the Colonies might be per- 
mitted to share in the benefits of life 
assurance, provided that special rates 
were charged in order to meet naturally 
greater risks. 

The Colonial Life Assurance Company 
was therefore formed in 1846 for the 
express purpose of undertaking foreign 
and colonial business, and it made most 
satisfactory progress for a period of nine- 
teen years, the policy-holders sharing in 
the very large profits which weic made. 

Permission to travel or to reside abroad 
was extended to insurers, and the amount 
of annual premium was based upon 
reliable statistics of mortality in India, 
which had been carefully tabulated by 
expert officials of the company. In the 
year 1865, however, it was found that 
the interests of the two companies were 
practically identical, and that as the 
managers of each comprised the same 
individuals, it was considered that it 
would be to the advantage of all con- 
cerned if an amalgamation took place, 
and this proposed union became an 
accomplished fact on March 19, 1866, the 
original name of the Standard Life 
Assurance Company, Ltd., being retained. 
A number of insurance offices have, 
through various causes, been absorbed by 
the Standard Company, and these include 
the York and North of England (trans- 
ferred in 1844), the Commercial (No. 1) 
in 1846, the Commercial (No. 2) in the 
same year, the Colonial and General in 
1847, the Experience in 1850, the 
Minerva in 1864, the Victoria in the 
following year, and the Legal and Com- 
mercial and the London and Provincial 
in 1865. The following figures may be 
given to illustrate the progress of the 
company : Between the years 1850 and 
1855 the number of new policies was 
4,608, with £2,492,988 representing the 
sums assured; from 1880 to 1885 tlie 
respective totals were 11,925 and 
£6,714,260; while the period from 
1905 to 1910 showed 22,055 'T"! 

The annual reports and statements of 
accounts mark the steady growth and 
the enormous wealth of the company, and 
the subjoined extracts have been culled 
from the latest returns : ."Xniount of 
assurances proposed during the year 1914 
3,630 proposals), £2.356,633; assur- 
ances accepted, 3.095, policies for 
£1.900.333; annual premium on new- 
policies, £78,555 ; amount received in 
purchase of annuities, £53,268 ; claims 
by dealli during the year. £-46,964 ; 
claims under endowment assurances 
matured during the year, £249,213 ; and 
subsisting assurances, £29.351,193. The 
annual revenue was £1,591,071, and the 
accumulated funds amounted at the end 
of the year to £13,735,374. 

It will be readily understood that the 
investment of such huge sums of money 
demands financial skill of no ordinary 
character, and it redounds to the credit 
of the directors, managers, and other 
officials that the stability of the company 

is vouched for by the leading actuaries 
of the present day. 

Branches and agencies have been 
established throughout the United King- 
dom and India, and in China, Ceylon, 
Mauritius. the Straits Settlements, 
Canada, South Africa, Egypt, West 
Indies, Belgium, Hungary, .Spain, Den- 
mark, Norway, Sweden, Argentina and 
Uruguay, while the Calcutta office con- 
trols the work in Bengal, Assam, Orissa, 
the Punjab, Burma, the L'nited Provinces 
of Agra, Oudh, the North-Western P'ron- 
tier Provinces, the Central Provinces, 
Central India, and Rajputana. 

The Calcutta offices are situated in a 
very handsome building at 32 Dalhousie 
Square, which was erected in the year 
1895, and Mr. W. E. Hill is the local 


It is exceedingly improbable that there 
is any commercial firm in India which 
can boast of having been established for 
140 years with the exception of that of 
Messrs. Steuart & Co., of 3 Mangoe Lane, 
Calcutta. Special interest is taken by 
partners in business concerns to-day in 
tracing the history of their firms from 
the date of foutjdation, and in noticing 
the remarkable changes which have taken 
place, not merely in the manner of con- 
ducting transactions, but in comparing the 
style, design, and quality of manufactured 
goods of earlier days with those which are 
in vogue now. It is within the know- 
ledge of the present partners of Messrs. 
Steuart & Co. that correct records were 
actually kept of pioneering experiences, 
but they, in common with legions of 
others, have to deplore the fact that 
these interesting documents are not avail- 
able for inspection now. In some 
instances they have been ruthlessly 
destroyed, but it is particularly annoy- 
ing to the oldest firm in India that its 
valuable literary heirlooms have suffered 
destruction by white ants, those insidious 
pests of the East. • There is evidence 
that tabulated statements showing the 
various changes in the personnel of the 
firm were carefully prepared from the 
very first, and although these were de- 
posited in an iron safe, the key was, 
unfortunately, subsequently lost. When 
Mr. Walter Bushby, uncle of Mr. Frank 
E. Bushby, the present senior partner, 
joined the firm in the year 1885, the safe 
was opened by force, and it was dis- 
covered that the interior was coated with 







. ^ /-^^-^ ^■-; /^!v-4 '^X""-' 

I. Varxishixi; Room. i. Repair Shop. 





rust, and that white ants had destroyed 
every vestige of the papers, only a heap 
of dust remaining of those priceless 
records. Notwithstanding this misfor- 
tune, however, it is known that a coach- 
builder's business was started by Mr. A. 
Steuart in 1775 at 8 Old Court House 
Corner, and that these premises were re- 
tained until the year 1907, when a move 
was made into Mangoe Lane. 

Mr. Frank Bushby made strenuous 
efforts to discover traces of any other 
documents, but the earliest authentic ones 
found by him commenced with the year 
1824, when the partners were Messirs. 
Robert, James, and John Hastie, who 
landed in India in 1807, 181 1, and 18 18 
respectively. Following the Plasties came 
(among others) Mr. Burkinyoung in 
1 84 1, who was master of the Trades 
Association in Calcutta for two years, and 
who appears to have been a partner until 
i860 ; Mr. W. Roberts, who after some 
years' service retired to Europe ; Mr. 
T. C. Carter, who was made partner in 
i860; Mr. R. Allardice, Junior, and Mr. 
Kilgour from 1868 to 1879 > Messrs. 
Kilgour and Hay from 1881 to 1885; 
Mr. Walter Bushby and Mr. A. W. 
Westrop from 1886 to 1893 ; Mr. W. 
Bushby as sole partner from 1894 to- 
1901 ; and Messrs. W. Bushby and R. E. 
Josland in the following six years. Mr. 
Walter Bushby retired to Europe in 1907, 
leaving Mr. Josland, Mr. A. H. Martin, 
and Mr. Frank Bushby as partners. In 
191 1 Mr. Josland retired, when Mr. 
Frank E. Bushby became senior partner, 
his colleagues being Mr. G. Berridge- 
Page, M.I.A.E., and Mr. W. Shenton. 

Some old leases relating to the original 
property of the firm aire still in existence, 
and they contain the names of Captain 
Robert Steuart and Lady Mary Steuart, 
who in all probability were descendants 
of the founder of the business. 

Early methods of conveying individuals 
and their chattels or merchandise take 
us back to the days when roads were con- 
spicuous by their absence, and when 
pack-horses were more in evidence than 
they are to-day ; then there was the 
palanquin, a hideous monstrosity for civi- 
lized countries ; the sedan-chair (dearly 
loved by courtiers and their ladies) was 
produced early in the seventeenth cen- 
tury ; and a few years later a form of 
carriage or hackney coach made its 
appearance. But the lumbering spring- 
less vehicles of those days soon underwent 
improvement, and those ant-consumed 
documents could throw no little light 

upon this interesting question if they had 
been forthcoming. 

Wagons, roughly built and clumsy— 
of which we can gain some idea from 
the famous trek-wagons of South Africa 
—but capable of holding all the belong- 
ings of an entire household, were then 
made, and the transition from them to the 
luxuriant comfort of modern buggies or 
Ralli carts, mail phaetons, broughams, 
victorias, landaus, barouches, and State 
coaches has been gradual but complete. 

There has not been a single vehicle 
on the roads within the last 150 years 
which has not had its type in the work- 
shops of Messrs. Steuart & Co., and they 
have not only built carts and carriages 
for every-day use, but they have been 
entrusted with commissions for elegant 
State coaches largely composed of gold, 
silver, and precious stones, and fitted with 
the most costly appointments. Among 
these special mention should be made of 
a State howdah for the use of the late 
King Edward in 1876 ; about two years 
later they constructed a carriage for the 
Maharajah of Jind, which was enriched by 
no less than 25,000 tolahs (tolah^j dwts. 
12 grains troy) of silver; in 1882 and 
subsequent years gorgeous vehicles were 
supplied to the Nawab of Bhawalpore, 
the Commander-in-Chief of Nepal, and 
the Amir of Kabul ; a solid silver 
elephant howdah was dispatched by the 
firm to the Durbar held by Lord Curzon 
in 1902 ; no fewer than twenty-two lan- 
daus and eighteen victorias were supplied 
for the V'iceroy's personal guests ; they 
supplied a most ornate carriage far His 
Majesty the King-Emperor when, as 
Prince of Wales, he visited India in 1906 ; 
and another of an exceedingly handsome 
description in 1911, after his accession 
to the throne. Many State and other 
carriages were built by Messrs. Steuart 
& Co. for ruling chiefs, princes, and other 
notable persons for the imposing cere- 
monies associated with the Royal visit, 
and it should be added that they have 
held special appointments to all the Vice- 
roys of India up to the present time, and 
have enjoyed the patronage of nearly 
every ruling chief in the country. 

The advent of the motor-car naturally 
made considerable difference to all 
builders of carriages, and the enterprising 
spirit of the partners was manifested 
when, realizing 'that a new page had been 
opened in connection with vehicular 
traffic, they quickly put themselves in 
a position to meet the changed require- 
ments of customers by obtaining agencies 


from leading manufacturers in England 
and by establishing a factory for building 
their own cars. Chassis are imported 
but the whole of the body work is built 
in Calcutta with indigenous timber, which 
naturally is more suited to the Indian 
climate than European wood. Further 
than this, Messrs. Steuart & Co. have 
special knowledge of the requirements of 
local patrons, and they are thus in a 
position to guarantee their woirk to be 
equal in quality to any which is done by 
London tradesmen. 

The firm are representatives in India 
for the famous Napier, Austin, Renault, 
Calcott, and Swift cars, and innumerable 
letters have been received by Messrs. 
Steuart & Co. testifying to the almost 
unparalleled qualities of these vehicles. 
Visitors to the firm's workshops may see 
the bodies in the course of construction 
from the bare skeleton to the finished 
articles, and a very important provision is 
made that bodies can be constructed and 
fittings supplied in conformity with the 
designs of prospective purchasers. The 
workshops have been very considerably 
enlarged owing to the rapid expansion of 
business, and there is now ample accom- 
modation for canrying out alterations or 
repairs of all descriptions, for storing 
motor accessories and spare parts, in- 
cluding tyres and petrol, and for a large 
garage. Fully competent workmen are 
employed in each branch, but the sound, 
practical experience of the partners en- 
sures, not a perfunctory, but a thorough, 
supervision of every detail of work. 


There is probably no industry which 
does not in some part of working or 
development depend upon iron and steel 
tubes, and the requirements in this line 
are fully met by the enterprise of the firm 
of Messrs. Stewarts and Lloyds, Ltd., who 
have a world-wide reputation for the class 
of goods they manufacture. 

This firm was among the first British 
manufacturers to recognize the potentiali- 
ties of the Indian market and the necessity 
for being directly represented in order 
that engineers, contractors, and others 
could have the benefit of expert advice, 
and it is fully nine years since they 
opened an office in Calcutta, from which 
all information relative to the multi- 
tudinous uses of iron and steel tubes could 
be readily obtained. 

This step was more than justified, as 
the Indian business of the firm increased 



with a rapidity beyond expectations. 
They were fully satisfied, however, that 
the limit had not been reached, and with 
the view of overcoming delays in obtain- 
ing supplies from Great Britain the firm 
leased ground on the Howrah foreshore, 
on which extensive warehouses connected 
with road, rail, and river communications 
have been built. 

Railway companies, jute mills, col- 
lieries, tea gardens, and other industries 
can consequently have all their wants 

Subsoil water is prolific in most parts, 
and this is obtainable by sinking wells ; 
but how few, if any, travellers in their 
journeyings throughout the length and 
breadth of the Indian Empire can have 
failed to notice the number of wells of 
costly and primitive designs, with their 
original methods for raising water I 

In recent years a great advance has 
been made in sinking wells by means of 
tubes, and this method is much less costly 
than by digging and building up with 

village supplies, the water coming from 
such wells being potable and the nature 
of the well preventing contamination from 
the surface. Good water supplies for 
domestic and sanitary purposes are 
essential for the welfare and health 
of all people — and particularly of the 
inhabitants of India — and the wells 
described above seem to be the solution 
of a problem that has troubled the 
authorities for a long time. 

The manufacture of steel tubes for 

I. Ti.'ijp: \V.*KEHOrSK, 


2. Ofuce, showing Tl'BrLAR COXSTKrCTlOX. 

immediately met, as large stocks of all 
the necessary tubes and accessories for 
various purposes are kept; and special 
requirements can be fully attended to, as 
a well-equipped machine-shop and smithy 
is attached to the warehouse. 

In India, as in nearly all other 
countries, agriculture is the principal 
industry, but in large tracts the failure 
of the rains is often the cause of famine. 
Irrigation has been resorted to as a means 
of meeting this deficiency, and although 
the Indian Government has spent large 
sums in this direction, there are still great 
expanses of agricultural ground awaitmg 
development where water is obtainable. 


brick or stone, as was formerly done. 
After the well has been sunk and water 
reached, the most up-to-date plan is to 
.install Ashford's " Patent Well Screen " 
(the licensed manufacturers being Messrs. 
Stewarts and Lloyds, Ltd.), with a few 
feet of suction pipe and a reliable pump, 
as large tracts of rich soil have in this 
manner been irrigated. The Government 
having given their approval of this 
method of obtaining water for irrigation, 
it follows that the business of well-sinking 
will probably before long reach immense 
proportions. The procedure just de- 
scribed has also been recognized as being 
most suitable for obtaining water for 

water distribution mains is a branch of 
the industry to which Messrs. Stewarts 
and Lloyds have paid particular atten- 
tion. These are much lighter than the 
heavy cast-iron pipes formerly used ; they 
are made in long lengths up to 40 feet, in . 
any diameter up to 6 feet ; they are 
unbreakable, and they combine all the 
essentials for India, being cheaper in first 
cost, easier to handle, and having fewer 
joints to be made than is the case with 
cast-iron pipes. The numerous water- 
supply schemes throughout India in which 
they have been installed testify to their 
efficiency. High-pressure mains for hydro- 
electric power installations are also a 



special feature of the firm's manufactures. 
Tubes are more commonly identified with 
water, gas, and steam installations, but 
Messrs. Stewarts and Lloyds have shown 
that they can be used for a great many 
other purposes, and in architectural work 
they are an improvement on the massive 
brick pillars or unsightly steel sections 
which are much too common in buildings. 
In the " City of Palaces " there are build- 
ings in which tubular steel columns have 
been used, and as it is generally agreed 


behind those of other countries 
obtaining up-to-date fittings. 

Steel plates for boilers, and for use in 
the building of ships, bridges, tanks, and 
wagons, as well as iron and steel castings, 
are made by the firm; and although the 
manufacture of iron and steel tubes, with 
the allied trades to which reference has 
been made, have not yet become local 
industries, the enterprise of Messrs. 
Stewarts and Lloyds, Ltd., may be looked 
upon as an essential adjunct to the many 

i'he founder died in 1854, and he was suc- 
ceeded by Mr. Thomas Teil, who in i860 
opened a branch establishment at Bally- 
gunge under the name of Tomlin & Co. 
Six years later Mr. Teil admitted into 
partnership Messrs. R. S. Erskine and 
T. C. Barlow ; in 1870 Mr. Teil died, 
and Mr. Erskine retired from the firm, 
leaving Mr. Barlow in sole possession 
until the latter's death in 1894, when Mr. 
R. \V. Barlow accepted full responsibility 
for the whole concern. 


I. Interior. 


2 AND 3. Views of the Bin. dings. 

that the appearance of the structures has 
been improved by the innovation, it 
follows that, in a city which prides itself 
on the beauty of its edifices, the use of 
similar columns will be greatly extended. 
In districts far removed from modern 
means of transit, and where skilled labour 
is scarce, tubular steel trusses could be 
used with advantage for roofs of sheds 
and huts. Steel tubes are equally suit- 
able for tramway, electric light, telephone, 
and telegraph poles. Ships' davits, 
derricks, and masts are also manufac- 
tured by the firm, and when shipbuilding 
becomes a fully established Indian 
industry the enterprise will not be 

industries of Bengal and Assam, or of any 
other province in India. 

The local offices of Messrs. Stewarts 
and Lloyds, Ltd., are in Clive Buildings, 
8 Clive Street, Calcutta, but they have 
other offices and works in Bombay, 
London, Birmingham, and Glasgow. 


This firm of tanners, curriers, and 
leather merchants was established in the 
year 1795 by Mr. John Teil, and the 
business is now carried on at 15 Wat- 
gunge Street, Kidderpore, near Calcutta, 
by the proprietor, Mr. R. W. Barlow. 

The principal feature of the business 
is the tanning of cow-hides in a 
thoroughly effective manner, and the 
process is so well carried out that the 
firm meet with an exceedingly brisk 
demand for their produce in the London 
market. These leathers are used chiefly 
in the manufacture of bags, uppers for 
boots, football covers, and, when 
enamelled, for the hoods of motor-cars 
and carriages. 

Messrs. Teil & Co. in earlier days held 
important contracts with the Government 
of India, among them being the making 
of accoutrements for the troops during 
the Burmese War ; but since the Govern- 


ment tanneries were opened at Cawnpore, 
orders for the Imperial military service 
have been sent to that place. 

The principal materials used in tanning 
are the bark of the babool (acacia arabica) 
tree and Mara bolams. 

A bronze medal was awarded to the 
firm for the excellence of their goods at 
the Calcutta Exhibition held in 1882, and 
a gold one was obtained at Gwalior in 


The telegraphic address is " Jonteil, 



A most marked advance has been made 
in India in industrial enterprises of various 
kinds during the past fifty years, and this 
improvement is particularly noticeable in 
the coal, iron, and steel trades, as it is 
upon the products of these concerns that 
the majority of other branches of busi- 
ness depend so largely for the means of 
carrying on their mills and factories. The 
extension of railways has caused great 
demands for sleepers, bolts, nuts, spikes, 
and other appliances; bridges have been 
needed for the crossing of rivers and 
nullahs; new machinery has been required 
for mills; and steel beams and joists have 
been ordered for structural work in all 
parts of the country. 

Foremost among Calcutta firms who 
have contributed brains as well as good 
workmanship to important undertakings of 
this character is that of Messrs. Turn- 
bulls (Glasgow), Ltd., which was incor- 
porated on December 14, 191 I, and 
carries on business as agents, merchants, 
structural engineers, manufacturers of 
bolts, nuts, rivets, and spikes, and as 
mining engineers. In their capacity as 
general merchants they hold large stocks 
of iron and steel products, cement, paints, 
asbestos goods, and general hardware. 

The firm are managing agents of the 
Kutra Iron Works at Kidderpore, near 
Calcutta, where are manufactured suspen- 
sion and other bridges and the component 
parts of steel buildings of all kinds such 
as railway stations, bungalows, tea and 
other factories, sheds, stores, colliery pit- 
head frames, coolie lines, coal wagons, 
and a very large quantity of general 
mechanical appliances. These works com- 
prise an extensive foundry together with 
forge, mechanical, fitting, tinsmiths', 
blacksmiths', and other shops, and they 
occupy an area of 90,000 square feet. 
About five hundred men are employed 

The firm are, further, managing agents 
of The North British Bolt and Rivet Com- 
pany. . This is a branch of industry which 
is comparatively new to India, and only 
a few years ago engineers, contractors, 
and others had to import all bolts, nuts, 
rivets, and dog and chair spikes required 
in the building or repairing of practically 
every description of vessel, building, 
machinery, bridge, or railway rolling 
stock. The average monthly output of 
this factory is approximately 150 tons. 

The East India Ruby Mica Company, 
Ltd., whose registered offices are at 10 
Strand Road, Calcutta, opened mica 
mines in the State of Dhenkanal in the 
division of Orissa in the year 191 5, and 
they placed the managing agency of them 
in the hands of the firm now under notice. 

The mining of this mineral has been 
attended with much better results since 
the comparatively recent introduction of 
improved machinery and of methods of 
working. The Ruby Company have 
benefited by coming into line with up- 
to-date practices, with the result that 
steady development of their interests is 
being maintained. 

The firm are also managing agents for 
the Raneedih Colliery Company, in the 
famous Jherria coal-field, in the district 
of Manbhum, in the Province of Behar 
and Orissa, for the Damagurria Coal Com- 
pany, Ltd., whose property is situated near 
Sitarampur, in the district of Burdwan, 
in the Bengal Presidency, and for the 
Diamond Drill Association, who engage 
in prospecting and boring work in alj parts 
of India. 

The local offices of Turnbulls (Glas- 
gow), Ltd., are at 10 Strand Road, Cal- 
cutta; their iron works, paint and oil 
godowns and metal yards are at Kidder- 
pore and Howrah respectively, and the 
head .offices are at 163 Hope Street and 
I 56 St. Vincent Street, Glasgow. 



When one reads the history of the 
development of commercial enterprises in 
India, but particularly in Calcutta, one is 
struck by the fact that the founders of the 
majority of the leading business houses 
came originally from large trading centres 
in the northern counties of England, or 
from the country beyond the Tweed. 
Those pioneers were declared to be hard- 
headed, shrewd, and capable men of busi- 
ness, and upon reflection it will be readily 
conceded that it was only by making use 


of their hardly earned practical experi- 
ence, by manifesting a spirit of deter- 
mination, and by working on a strictly 
economical basis, that the well-known 
concerns of to-day are such substantial 
memorials of the insignificant beginnings 
from which they sprung. 

There are several companies and firms 
in Calcutta at the present time whose 
records tally with what has been said 
above, and one need only refer to Messrs. 
Turner, Morrison & Co., Ltd., in proof of 
those assertions. 

The business was established at i Lyons 
Range, Calcutta, in the middle of the nine- 
teenth century, by Mr. .Alfred Turner, of 
Liverpool, whose son, Mr. .\. M. Turner, 
is still head of the firm. The original 
designation of the firm was Turner, 
Cadogan & Co., but it was subsequently 
changed to Turner, Morrison & Co. 

Owing to the very rapid development 
of the business, and the consequent 
necessity for increased accommodation, 
the firm in the year 1868 removed to 
6 Lyons Range, but since that date they 
have been compelled to secure additional 
premises, viz. Nos. 5^ and 7 in the same 

The past two or three decades have 
witnessed a remarkable advance in indus- 
tries of a general character in almost 
every part of India, and Messrs. Turner, 
Morrison & Co., in 1887, realized that 
the enlarged horizon of their commercial 
activities would be safeguarded to a 
greater extent by the opening of a branch 
in Bombay, where they are now estab- 
lished at 40 Church Gate Street. 

While the Bombay house of the firm was 
concerned largely in extensive shipping 
transactions with Great Britain and other 
western countries and in meeting the coal 
requirements of customers in western 
India, and while the headquarters at 
Calcutta were engaged in the conduct of 
the firm's interests in a general maiwer, 
a new field of enterprise had sprung 
up which called for the opening of another 
branch which would be in closer connec- 
tion with the north-eastern portion of 
Bengal and the Province of Assam. In 
order to supply this need the firm estab- 
lished themselves at Chittagong in the 
year 1904. 

With such important centres as these 
in India, and being in communication, 
through their London and Liverpool 
houses, with the principal trading marts 
of the Western world, the firm's business 
continued to expand with remarkable 
rapidity, and reference may now be made 


Calcltta Ofkice. 2. A Corker of the Ibox Kolxdry, Kutra Ironworks. 3. Part ok the Fittisg-shop, Kutra Ironworks. 

4. KiJi-DAixA Bridge, Cahrox. 5. Jainti Bridge, Cooch Behar. 



I. Thk Calcutta Offices. 






to some of the principal branches of busi- 
ness in which they are engaged. 

They have one of the largest shipping 
connections in Calcutta, and a walk along 
the banks of the Hooghly from the 
Howrah bridge to the docks at Kidderpore 
will reveal a large number of vessels, 
under their control, during the periods of 
loading or discharging cargo. A very 
large amount of chartering business is 
done in Calcutta, and a glance at the 
principal morning newspapers of the city 
reveals a long list of names of arriving 
or departing ships, while in another 
column, parallel with such names, are the 
letters " T., M. & Co.," signifying that 
Messrs. Turner, Morrison & Co. are con- 
cerned in the control of their voyages. 
They also berth steamers from Bombay 
destined for the United Kingdom and 
Continental ports. 

The firm are the managing agents of 
the Asiatic Steam Navigation Company, 
Ltd., which trades round the coast of 
India, to Burma and Java; also for the 
Bombay and Persia Steam Navigation 
Company, and the Arab Steamers, Ltd., 
whose headquarters are in Bombay, and 
whose trade is principally from Bombay 
and Calcutta to the Red Sea and the 
Persian Gulf. 

They are sole agents for Messrs. 
Andrew Weir & Co.'s steamers to the 
River Plate and the West Coast of South 
America, the V^enice Line running between 
Calcutta, Trieste, and Venice, and the 
Northern Steamship Company, Ltd., which 
is a Russian line trading between Cal- 
cutta and Vladivostock. 

A joint agency is also held for the 
.\nchor-Brocklebank Line, which runs 
from Calcutta to London, Dundee, and 
Liverpool, and also for Messrs. Andrew 
Weir & Co.'s service of steamers to the 
United States of America. 

Salt. — The firm are the largest im- 
porters of salt in Calcutta, and they are 
the sole agents for the Salt Union of 
Liverpool, and the Italian Salt Company, 
at Massowah, while they have ninety-three 
up-country depots and out-agencies for 
the sale of that commodity. 

Shalimar Works. — These engineering 
works were commenced in the year 1895 
by Messrs. Turner, Morrison & Co. at 
Shalimar Point on the River Hooghly, op- 
posite the docks at Kidderpore. The in- 
dustry was an extremely insignificant con- 
cern at the time of its inception, and it 
is a fine illustration of rapid development 
of engineering works in Calcutta. A com- 
paratively few hands were amply sufficient 

in number to cope with the business of 
twenty years ago, but to-day may be seen 
one of the busiest shipbuilding yards and 
engineering works on the Hooghly. All 
kinds of launches, barges, flats, and other 
boats are built by skilled mechanics under 
European supervision, and there are ex- 
tensive shops and yards, immediately at 
the entrance to the docks, in which iron- 
work and repairs of all kinds are promptly 
carried out by a large staff of qualified 
workmen. A special feature is made of 
marine engineering work, and of repairs 
to machinery and plant in ships, and in 
jute, flour, and other mills. Included in 
the works are the foundry, which is able 
to turn out iron castings up to ten tons in 
weight ; the machine-shop, well equipped 
with modern machinery and tools; the 
smithy, which is continuously employed in 
forgings of all kinds and sizes ; the saw- 
mills, in which logs are cut into various 
sizes; and the angle-smith's shop, which 
is engaged in the construction of ribs for 
river-going craft. 

The Shalimar Works have also an 
electric-welding plant which has been 
installed upon a barge that can be moored 
alongside ships for purposes of repairs 
to boilers or other steel parts, or it can 
be floated near to mills in which break- 
downs of plant have occurred. 

The Shalimar Paint, Colour, and 
Varnish Company. — This company was 
founded by Messrs. Turner, Morrison & 
Co. in the year 1902, and they manu- 
facture every description of paints, var- 
nishes, and other similar products, which 
are sold in considerable quantities to 
private mercantile firms,, and also under 
contracts with Governments in India and 
with several 'of the leading railway com- 
panies. The works are situated on the 
bank of the Hooghly at Goabaria, a few 
miles distant from Calcutta. 

Shellac. — The firm are managing agents 
for Messrs. Angelo Brothers, who are, 
without exception, the largest manufac- 
turers of shellac in India. The factory is 
situated at Cossipore, about three miles 
distant from Calcutta, and a very con- 
siderable quantity of orange and garnet 
lac is produced. 

The Cossipore Sugar Works— (or which 
the firm are managing agents — are built 
upon a bank -of the River Hooghly at 
Cossipore, and every kind of sugar, 
ranging from the finest white crystals to 
" yellows " and " greys," is manufac- 
tured there, this being one of the largest 
sugar refineries in the country. 

The Retriever Flotilla Company own a 

fleet of barges, together with a number 
of launches on the Hooghly, and they are 
engaged in the transport of bunker coal, 
jute, and other produce. They also are 
owners of several sea-going launches 
which run from Chittagong to Cox's 
Bazaar and the Naaf River, carrying cargo, 
passengers, and mails. Messrs. Turner, 
Morrison & Co., Ltd., are managing 

A very busy department of the firm is 
that in which insurances are effected in 
life, fire, and marine business, and 
agencies are held for the Scottish Union 
and National Insurance Company, the 
Union Insurance Society of Canton, Ltd., 
the Thames and Mersey Marine Insur- 
ance Company, Ltd., the Sea Insurance 
Company, Ltd., and the Queensland In- 
surance Company, Ltd. 

The firm have for a considerable time 
represented the Vacuum Oil Company, 
and in addition to all the above important 
branches of enterprise they carry on an 
extensive export business of a general 
character, the principal commodities dealt 
with being gunnies, saltpetre, and country 
produce of various kinds. 

Coal. — In 1896 the firm inaugurated the 
Lodna Colliery Company, Ltd., for the 
purchase and development of coal lands, 
but particular reference to the colliery is 
made elsewhere. The firm do a large 
bunkering business in Calcutta. They 
have a depot on the river bank opposite 
Prinsep's Ghat, in Strand Road, and they 
place the bunker coal alongside steamers 
in specially built iron barges. 

The following is an interesting illus- 
tration of the comprehensive scale of 
Messrs. Turner, Morrison & Co.'s 
business. Let it be imagined that a 
steamer, having met with an accident, 
arrives in a damaged state in Calcutta; 
the owners avail themselves of the ser- 
vices of Messrs. Turner, Morrison & Co. 
as agents; the latter can discharge the 
ship, repair her, paint her inside and out, 
engage the requisite cargo for her return 
voyage, load her, insure her hull and cargo 
if necessary, supply her with bunker coal 
and stores, and dispatch her, without 
having to go outside of the concerns which 
they control, and it may be added that 
they are the only firm in Calcutta who 
can do this. 

The partnership of Messrs. Turner, 
Morrison & Co. was turned into a private 
limited liability company in the year 191 3, 
the first directors being Messrs. Cuthbert 
Radcliffe and F. W. Carter, the local 
directors consisting of Mr. R. M, W, 


Smyth and Mr. W. S. J. Willson, Cal- 
cutta and Chittagong, and Mr. J. S. W. 
Milne at Bombay. 

The correspondents of the company in 
England are Messrs. Turner & Co., of 
6 Dale Street, Liverpool, and Messrs. 
Turner & Co., of 46 St. Mary Axe, 
London, E.C. 


The late Dr. David Waldie, L.R.C.S., 
of Edinburgh, Scotland, surgeon and 
chemist, had not only the honour 
accredited to him of being a benefactor 
to suffering humanity by bringing chloro- 
form to the notice of Sir J. Simpson and 
suggesting its use for the production of 
anaesthesia in surgical operations, but also 
of possessing the acumen to foresee the 
value of an indigenous production of 
chemical substances in the growing in- 
dustrial activity of India. Being essen- 
tially a practical man, he founded in 1852 
the well-known firm of Messrs. D. Waldie 
& Co., who were the pioneers of chemical 
industry in India, and undoubtedly the 
largest chemical manufacturers in the 

The business was originally started at 
Dukinsore, and its rapid growth soon ren- 
dered it advisable to remove to Cossi- 
pore, but the further expansion of 
activities necessitated the choice of a 
yet larger and mare favourable site, 
whence the rapid transit of the firm's 
products by rail, road, or river could 
be effected. A site fulfilling the needed 
requirements was secured at Konnagar, 
about nine miles north of Howrah Bridge, 
Calcutta, on the western bank of the 
Hooghly, where extensive plant was 
erected for the manufacture, on a far 
larger scale than had hitherto been 
attempted, of all the principal acids used 
in commerce as well as of heavy and fine 

The firm removed to the new premises 
in 1890, but as further accommodation 
became indispensable, five years later a 
branch factory was erected at Nawab- 
gimge, Cawnpore, designed to cope with 
the volume of business with which the 
firm had to deal from Central India, but 
this did not mean the end of the capa- 
bility of the firm for extension, as a third 
factory has recently been opened at 

Some idea of the large amount of 
chemicals manufactured may be inferred 
from the fact that of one line alone, sul- 
phuric acid, about 3,500 tons are made 

per annum, while some 6,000 odd tons 
of raw materials, finished chemicals, and 
fertilizers are handled and transported, 
mainly by river and rail, in the course 
of a year at the Konnagar works alone. 

One large department deals with the 
preparation of fertilizers, essential to the 
planter and agriculturist, by blending 
them on scientific principles, based on 
the deficiencies of soils and the needs of 
particular crops such as tea, rubber, 
coffee, tobacco, and various other kinds, 
.'Vnother department supplies the demands 
for disinfectants which modern science 
has shown to be necessary for the main- 
tenance of hygienic conditions, while a 
third makes and issues that indispensable 
adjunct of surgery, ether ; but the list 
could, without difficulty, be prolonged to 
an almost indefinite length. 

The close association of a distillery in 
connection with the chemical works at 
Konnagar greatly facilitates the manu- 
facture of all those products which require 
the use of alcohol, which is kept, duty 
free, under bond, and thus provides a 
ready means for the output of various 
galenical preparations as well as for the 
extraction of vegetable alkaloids. 

It is not erroneous to assume that the 
firm are unique in their position as manu- 
facturers in not combining any retail 
business with wholesale, by applying 
themselves entirely to the exploitation of 
manufactured chemical products on a 
scale suited to the demand of other in- 
dustries dependent on such products for 
their upkeep. 

The Calcutta offices of Messrs. Waldie 
& Co. are situated at i Royal Exchange 
Place, and their telegraphic address is 
" Waldie," Konnagar. 


The advent of the motor-car was not 
accompanied by any outburst of enthu- 
siasm on the part of the travelling public, 
and especially of those resident in the 
East, but since cars, cycles, boats, and 
other means of conveyance (driven by this 
force) are now a permanent institution, 
motor agencies or building and repairing 
works, are met with in nearly every street 
in every town in the world, and one might 
say that there is scarcely a village of any 
importance which does not boast of a 
resident who can at least supply petrol, 
tyres, or other accessories. 

The Waterloo Motor Works at 8 Water- 
loo Street, Calcutta, are the property of 
Mr. M. Bouffe, who is known to motorists 

in the city as an expert mechanician, and 
whose experience has enabled him to 
secure the patronage of a large number 
of the leading inhabitants. 

Mr. Bouffe arrived in India in the year 
1905; for three years he was associated 
with the French Motor Car Company, and 
subsequently he was assistant manager and 
engineer for another firm, from whom 
he eventually — in 191 4 — purchased their 

The owner has a staff of thoroughly 
competent workmen, but his own practical 
experience is the guiding power in his 
stores and shops, in which he keeps for 
sale a stock of new and second-hand cars, 
cycles, and accessories, and where he has, 
further, spare parts and requisites for 
repairs to all kinds of motor vehicles, 
motor boats, and boat motors. 

Mr. Bouffe's telegraphic address is 

" Watlomo." 


Communications from any part of the 
world addressed " Bookstall, India," 
would under normal conditions assuredly 
be correctly delivered to Messrs. A. H. 
Wheeler & Co., Calcutta, Allahabad, or 
Bombay, whose fame as bookstall pro- 
prietors and railway advertisement con- 
tractors in India has extended throughout 
the limits of the British Empire. The 
name of the firm is a household word in 
India, just as that of Messrs. W. H. Smith 
& Sons is in England. 

Their stalls at all the principal railway 
termini, and at an increasingly large num- 
ber of wayside stations, are filled with 
English and local newspapers, novels, 
periodicals, and journals, and travellers 
over the thousands of miles of Indian rail- 
ways are able : to obtain literature to 
relieve the monotony which is invariably 
associated with long journeys. 

A great want has been met by the estab- 
lishment of these stalls, and if no other 
reason than this, the firm of Messrs. A. H. 
Wheeler & Co. would deserve recognition, 
but in 19 14 they directed their attention 
to the motor trade, which has brought 
them into still greater prominence. 

The Indian interests of the Metal- 
lurgique, Calthorpe, and Briscoe cars, 
Calthorpe Jap motor cycles, and the 
Bengal agency of Hallford lorries were 
placed under their care when the outbreak 
of war, and the consequent cessation of 
export of English and Belgian cars, 
diverted their attention solely to the 
American market. 

In the Briscoe car Messrs. A. H. 


I. General View. 

2. Works kro.m River, showing Jetty. 3- Acid Retorts. 

4. XiTRic-AciD Shed. 


I. General View op Showrooms akd Garage at 117-19 Park Street, Calcutta. 2. Interior ok Garage. 

3. Interior of Showroom. 



Wheeler & Co. placed their faith nearly 
three years ago, and it has more than 
justified their early favourable impres- 
sions, which are now fully shared by the 
many Briscoe owners in India. The 
demand for motor cycles ne.xt attracted 
the attention of this firm, and as an out- 
come, one of the most famous of the motor 
cycle productions in .A.merica was secured 
in the Harley-Da\idson "Silent Grey" 

The garage is certainly one of the 
largest in Calcutta, perhaps in the whole 

The firm's office is in Allahabad, 
and their motor department is controlled 
by their Calcutta office in Chartered Bank 
Buildings, Clive Street, while they also 
have offices in London and Bombay. 


The firm of Messrs. Wilkinson Si Co., 
of 12 Dalhousie Square, Calcutta, have 
for a number of years been in the fore- 
front, not only as dealers in all kinds of 
indigenous timber, but also as practic- 

Moulmein-Eng, and Jarool in all standard 
sizes, but any timber can be machine- 
sawn according to the requirements of 

Messrs. Wilkinson & Co. are represen- 
tatives in India, Burma, and Ceylon of 
the Japan and Eastern Trading Company, 
Ltd., which is a purely British company, 
with registered offices at Hamilton House, 
155 Bishopsgate, London, E.C., and with 
blanch establishments at Nagasaki and 
Otaru in Japan. Several important forest 
concessions and saw-mills in Northern 



I. Sleepers at Dkpot. 


of India, and it is well equipped with 
plant and tools. In this direction Messrs. 
Wheeler & Co. have quite recently laid 
down additional machinery with a view 
to extending their repair department on 
a large scale. 

The business connection of the firm 
through the medium of their advertising 
agency has brought them into close rela- 
tionship with various aspects of the com- 
mercial world, and with new opportunities 
for development recently made possible, 
they have extended the field of their 
activities, and in addition to the agencies 
already referred to, they have now become 
general merchants and exporters of a 
variety of commodities. 

ally the only importers of North Japan 
and Manchurian oak and ash, which is 
supplied in the form of sleepers to the 
principal railways in India, and for the 
construction of carriages and wagons on 
the various systems. 

Another special feature in the business 
of this enterprising firm is the very ex- 
tensive connection which tliey have built 
up in supplying fancy woods, such as 
Honduras and Indian mahogany, rose- 
wood or blackwood, satin-wood, and 
padouk, together with oak and ash planks, 
the last two being kiln-dried, for the 
manufacture of household furniture. 

The firm keep in stock considerable 
quantities of Burma and Travancore teak, 

Japan and Manchuria are held by the 
company, whose directors in London are 
Colonel G. T. B. Cobbett and Mr. Owen 

The firm are, further, agents for 
Messrs. Holme, Ringer & Co., of 
Nagasaki and Shimonoseki, in Japan, for 
the sale of their well-known " Bridge " 
cement, creosote oil, and similar other 
goods, and also for the Beldam Tyre 
Company, Ltd., of London, who are 
manufacturers of high-grade motor tyres 
and all classes of rubber goods. 

The managing partner in India is Mr. 
H. R. Wilkinson, and the telegraphic 
address of the firm is " Tiraberwilk," 



Among the old-established firms of 
merchants in Calcutta is that of Messrs. 
Gillanders, Arbuthnot & Co., merchants, 
bankers, and commission agents, of 8 
Clive Street. 

In addition to the ordinary banking 
business of the firm, Messrs. Gillanders, 
Arbuthnot & Co., are managing agents 
of the Hooghly Mills Company, Ltd., one 
of the largest jute factories in Bengal, 
the Betjam Tea Company, Ltd., the Jutli- 
baree Tea Company, Ltd., and the Mani- 
pur Tea Estate, and agents for the Millars 
Timber and Trading Company, Ltd., the 
Nobel's (.Glasgow) Explosives Company, 
Ltd., whose products have been used in 
the construction of all the principal rail- 
ways, roads, and dock works in India, 
Burma, and Ceylon, Messrs. H. Dear & 
Co., Ltd., timber merchants and pro- 
prietors of saw-mills in the division of 
Patna in the Province of Behar and 
Orissa, the Asiatic Petroleum Co. (India"), 
Ltd., La Society G^n^rale Industrielle de 
Chandernagore, Sir W. G. Armstrong, 

VVhitworth & Co., Ltd., Messrs. Vickers, 
Ltd., Messrs. Pinchin, Johnson & Co., 
Ltd., Messrs. Brown, Lenox & Co., Ltd., 
and the East Ferry Road Engineering 
Works, the Singlo Tea Company, Ltd., 
and the Empire of India and Ceylon Tea 
Company, Ltd. They are also managing 
agents for the Hardwar-Dehra Branch 
Railway Company, Ltd., the Darjeeling- 
Himalayan Railway Extensions Company, 
Ltd., the Hoshiarpur-Doab Branch Rail- 
way, Co., Ltd., and the Mymensingh- 
Bhairab Bazar Railway Company, Ltd., 
and agents for His Majesty's Ceylon 
Government, the British North Borneo 
Government, and the Darjeeling-Hima- 
layan Railway Company, Ltd. 

In connection with life assurance the 
firm issue policies on accepted proposals 
through the London Assurance Corpora- 
tion, Ltd., which has been established for 
more than a hundred and ninety years, and 
also on behalf of the Scottish Provident 
Institution and the Royal Insurance Com- 
pany, Ltd. They represent leading 
British fire insurance companies, who not 

only give security against damage to 
buildings but also to cover losses of 
profits, standing charges, and increased 
cost of working owing to the same cause. 
Risks against personal accidents arc 
undertaken, and the firm issue the only 
policy in India which covers every form 
of sickness, protection against loss of 
jewellery, plate, and other valuables as 
a result of burglary, housebreaking, or 
theft by servants, is granted at low rates 
of premium; fidelity bonds, as substitutes 
for cash securities, are issued to guard 
merchants and others against loss through 
the dishonesty of their employees, and 
marine policies are issued on remarkably 
favourable terms. As sole agents for the 
South British Insurance Company, Ltd., 
the firm issue policies covering every 
conceivable contingency, and they ^rc 
officially authorized to issue the special 
policy for members of the Automobile 
Association of Bengal. In short, all 
classes of insurances are effected at the 
lowest possible rates and without vexatious 
conditions or restrictions. 


PhotQ by T, P. iWi. 



Illustration from "Oriental Scenery," by Thomas Daniell (1795). 


By J. A. SANDBROOK, Editor of the " Englishman " 

LTHOUGH for ad- 
ministrative pur- 
poses the area- 
covered by Bengal, 
Behar and Orissa, 
and Assam is divided 
into three Provinces, 
it is economically a 
single unit, whose commercial and indus- 
trial life may be said to centre in- the 
great port of Calcutta. Nature has richly 
endowed these Provinces of North- 
Eastern India, which together cover 
257,392 square miles and sustain in com- 
fort a population of 92,000,000 souls. 
Generously watered by great rivers, which 
provide also a cheap and convenient 
means of transport, the soil is rich in 
crops of many varieties. Within the 
boundaries flourish the prosperous mono- 
poly of jute and the successful manufac- 
ture of richly flavoured teas. Bengal is 
the principal producer of rice, the staple 
food crop of India. Its moist climate 
and assured rainfall produce at least two 
crops of rice yearly, and in some favoured 
places as many as five." Bengal provides 

* An important feature of the Bengal rice crop is 
the fact that a large portion of the area bears two 
or more crops a year, a circumstance that has led to 
the expression of a " vertical " as compared with a 
" horizontal " area. In fact, it has been pointed out 
that a proprietor of an estate with a fairly mixed 
Soil might have three, four, or even five harvests of 

the largest crop of oil-seeds in India, and 
contributes in abundance many other agri- 
cultural products of prime importance. 
Between them, Bengal and Behar account 
for 95 per cent, of the coal output of 
Intiia. They are the only Provinces of 
India in which iron ore is mined for smelt- 
ing by European methods, providing 95' 6 
per cent, of the total quantity raised in 
the peninsula. The ground is rich in 
other minerals waiting to be won, but 
already the mineral output of the Pro- 
vinces, the variety of manufactures, and 
the richness of the agricultural products 
make of Bengal, Behar and Orissa, and 
Assam the most important area, indus- 
trially, in the whole of India. 

The rise of commerce in Bengal is one 
of the great romances of the British 
Empire. A province so richly endowed 
by Nature has always attracted the trader, 
and from the earliest times North-Eastern 
India has been noted for its productive- 
ness and its skill in handicraft. Time 
was when Bengal was the common store- 
house of cotton and silk, " not of 
Hindostan or the Empire of the Great 
Mogul only, but of all the neighbouring 

rice every twelve months : ( i ) .1 'is, from July to 
August ; (2) chotan amaii, from October to Novem- 
ber ; (3) boroii aman, from December to January ; 
(4) btto, from April to May ; and (5) mida, from 
September to October. — " The Commercial Products 
of India," Sir George Watt. 


kingdoms and even of Europe." 2 The 
delicate beauty of Dacca muslins and 
embroidered fabrics had achieved a 
world-wide fame. They penetrated the 
mysterious recesses of Mecca; they were 
found from China in the East to Syria 
and Arabia, Ethiopia and Persia, and to 
the markets of Provence, Italy, and Spain. 
They held every market in Europe until 
the beginning of the nineteenth century, 
when the cheaper piece goods of Man- 
chester brought about their downfall. It 
was not only in these stuffs, " extremely 
fine and delicate, coloured for their own 
use, and white for trade to all parts," that 
the merchants of mediaeval Bengal traded. 
Eighteenth-century travellers have left us 
records of the commercial genius of the 
traders who congregated in Bengal on 
account of the country being " very fertile 
and of a temperate character." In the 
main, the produce they dealt with in 
mediaeval times was the same as that dealt 
with by the traders of to-day, save for the 
introduction of jute and tea, and the pass- 
ing of the wondrous beauty of those Dacca 
silks and muslins. And the means of 
transport that filled the early travellers 
with a joyous delight — though they were 
much nearer to the primitive scheme of 
things — can still be seen in the water- 
ways of Bengal : the lazy country-boat. 

^ " Berniers' Travels." 


tied up in a narrow creek, waiting hours 
and hours for the tide ; the budgerows 
slowly toiling against the stream, driven 
by the patient, rhythmical oarsmen who 
crowd the deck. 

But these signs of ancient commerce 
exist side by side with the bustle of the 
age of steel, and it is with the latter age 
that this article is more concerned. The 
English brought the age of steel and iron 
to Bengal. The transition period has seen 
the decay of the ancient arts of white silk 
manufacture and liand-loom weaving, but 
it has seen also an industrial develop- 
ment that contains infinite promise for the 
future of India and Bengal. The pur- 
pose of the present article is to give the 
reader some idea of the industrial 
progress and importance of Bengal and 
the adjoining Provinces. 

The maritime trade of Bengal is the 
best indication of the increasing pros- 
perity of the Province. This trade is 
concentrated in Calcutta. Here are im- 
ported and exported the produce not only 
of the three Provinces with which this 
article is directly concerned, but also of 
other Provinces as well. The progress 
of Calcutta is an index to the progress 
of its hinterland, and few ports in the 
world can show so great an improvement 
in the volume and the value of the tonnage 
handled. In 50 years the gross registered 
tonnage of vessels entering the port rose 
from 668,311 to 7,074,830 in 1912-13. 
The ratio of increase was greatest in the 
last decade of this period, when the value 
of merchandise, exclusive of treasure and 
minerals, imported into Calcutta by all 
routes, increased from £66,720,920 to 
£114,789,236, and the value of exports 
rose from £67,876,668 to £121,298,581. 
This means an annual average increase 
of £11,276,692, or nearly a million 
pounds sterling every single month. The 
tonnage of merchandise, on the same 
basis, increased during the same period 
from 7,586,988 to 12,646,337 for imports, 
and 5,503,987 to 8,801,935 for exports. 

This rapid and phenomenal growth of 
the trade of the principal port led to 
congested conditions, which caused in- 
convenience and anxiety both to the docks 
and the railway companies serving the 
port. The situation was taken boldly in 
hand, and large new docks and extensive 
railway sidings are now in course of con- 
struction. The years of the Great War 
which followed immediately the period of 
phenomenal increase naturally checked 
the rapidly rising trade, but it is prac- 
tically certain that with the return of 

normal conditions the trade of Calcutta 
will again resume its upward march, pos- 
sibly with even greater rapidity; and the 
new docks and railways, although they are 
not likely to be completed for some years 
after the war is over, will enable the trade 
to be handled more expeditiously and 

The dislocation caused by the war, the 
difficulties of obtaining tonnage, and the 
large demand and exceptional prices for 
war material have produced somewhat 
abnormal conditions at the time this 
article is being written. In order, there- 
fore, to obtain a fair idea of the trade of 
Bengal in normal times, it is necessary to 
take pre-war figures, and the year 
19 1 3- 14, which, ending in March, was un- 
affected by the war, or the prospect of 
war, provides the latest and the best 

The sea-borne trade of the Province 
of Bengal in 19 1 3- 14 is set out in the 
following table : — 

Foreign trade- 





Coasting trade — 

Imports ... 15,35,42,495 
Exports ... 14,26,23,848 


Grand total of trade 2,14,85,48,320 

or _gi43,236,564 sterling. 

The average yearly trade for the five 
preceding years, 1907-8 to 191 i- 12, was 
Rs. 1,61,12,17,491 (or £107,414,499), so 
that the total for 1913-14 is an increase 
over the average of Bengal's most pros- 
perous period of Rs. 53,73,30,829, or 

As 10 the distribution of this trade, 
more than half the commerce of Calcutta 
is done with the United Kingdom, which 
does 44 per cent, of the total, and British 
possessions, which, apart from the United 
Kingdom, do io"49 per cent. .Australia 
is the largest individual customer amongst 
British possessions, taking 4*30 per cent, 
of Calcutta's exports and sending 3' 06 
of her imports. This is largely due to the 
Australian demand for jute manufactures 
in order to transport her crops, .'\mongst 
European countries, Germany used to be 
the largest customer, taking large quan- 
tities of raw jute and hides and sending 
in return railway material, cotton and 
woollen goods, and machinery. Her per- 
centage of the total trade in 1913-14 was 
8" 64, the percentage of all European 
foreign countries being 19-98. The United 

States percentage of the total trade was 
I 1-8 I, made up chiefly of raw jute and jute 
manufactures. Of Asiatic countries, Java, 
by reason of her large exports of sugar to 
Calcutta, occupies a prominent place, with 
a percentage of 4-19 of the total. 

Tlie growth of Japanese competition in 
the Indian markets has lately been 
attracting .great attention, and although 
the total trade between Calcutta and 
Japan is small as yet (2'49 per cent, of 
the total in 1913-14), the successful 
manufacture by Japan of cotton hosiery, 
matches, beer, and a variety of small 
articles formerly supplied from Europe, 
even motor tyres, gives a special interest 
and importance to her future commercial 
connection with India. Japan, more than 
any country in the East or the West, 
seized the opportunity of the war to push 
her goods on the Indian market, but the 
retention of the trade will depend on the 
quality of the goods, which is not up to 
the standard set by Japan's competitors. 

The following table gives the distribu- 
tion of Calcutta trade for 1913-14 : — 




United Kingdom 




Other British Posses- 





Foreign countries — 






1 179 





I 00 









So far as the imports are concerned, 
42' 19 per cent, of the total trade consists 
of cotton goods, and, incidentally, this 
shows the enormous importance of Bengal 
as a market for Lancashire goods, for 
by far the greater portion of these 
imports comes from England. Next to 
cotton goods, metals and ores cover the 
largest item of import, sugar coming 
third, with railway plant and rolling-stock 
and machinery and millwork next. All 
these may be called articles of necessity. 
Articles of food and clothing are the 
essentials of industrial development. 
Here and there in the list of imports are 
to be found items that suggest the 
increasing wealth of Bengal, as well as 
the gradual change of Eastern opinion 
towards Western methods of life. The 
importation of motor-cars, for instance, 
is growing enormously year by year. 
Although the roads of Bengal leave much 
to be desired, the country offers a re- 
markable scope for the development of 
the motor industry. 


The exports from Calcutta — and, of 
course, Behar and Orissa are included in 
the totals — are made up, so far as value 
goes, to the extent of more than 50 per 
cent, of raw jute and jute manufactures, 
the percentage of each being 28" 7 2 and 
28'90 respectively. Tea forms the next 
great staple export, amounting to io"82 
per cent, of the total; and hides and skins 
form 8'86 per cent., grain, pulse, and 
flour 7'03 per cent., seeds 3'67 per cent., 
and so on. 

with musk and yak's tails. The total 
imports from Tibet were Rs. 18,29,418, 
and in return Bengal exported cotton 
piece goods, woollen and silk manufac- 
tures, earthenware, porcelain, etc., to the 
value of Rs. 14,28,660. The trade with 
Bhutan was very much less, amounting 
in the aggregate to Rs. 5,03,974. Behar 
and Orissa do a large trade with Nepal, 
and Assam is dealing to an even larger 
extent with Bhutan, and the several tribes, 
notably the .■\bors and Mishmis, on her 

The best has not been made of these 
countless waterways, many of which have 
fallen into decay and disuse by ofificial 
neglect to counteract the changes of the 
flood and keep the course of the river 
steady and clear. To control accurately 
these erratic, wandering waterways, how- 
ever, would require large capital. It is 
estimated that the river-bound commerce 
between Bengal and Behar and Orissa, 
Assam, and the United Provinces amounts 
to Rs. 13,01,00,000 ('£8,673,000) in 


Photas bj K. O. Po(t£ir. 

The figures so far quoted do not, of 
course, include the frontier trade of 
Bengal, which is a much smalUr but none 
the less a considerable total. From Sik- 
kim Bengal draws living animals, grain 
and pulse, metals of various kinds, ghee 
and spices, of the aggregate value of 
Rs. 30,89,466, exporting in return cotton 
manufactures of Indian origin, provisions, 
sugar, and tobacco, of the aggregate value 
of Rs. 16,00,520. From Nepal were re- 
ceived animals, fruits, vegetables, nuts, 
and provisions valued at Rs. 29,58,925, 
and goods of the value of Rs. 36,23,131 
were exported. Raw wool constitutes the 
main staple of import from Tibet, together 


frontier, just emerging from the primitive 

The transport of trade in Bengal and 
the adjoining Provinces is greatly facili- 
tated by the spacious waterways with 
which Nature has endowed the Gangetic 
plains. Two great rivers, the Ganges and 
Brahmaputra, fed by many tributaries, 
drop slowly from the Himalayas to the 
Bay of Bengal. In the flat plains their 
streams have split into the countless 
waterways of the Bengal Delta. They 
flood and fertilize the plains in the rainy 
season, and when the crops are garnered 
they carry them to markets far removed 
and widely scattered. 

value, and that, of course, does not include 
the trade within the Province of Bengal 
itself. Besides giving to the Province the 
inestimable advantage of wide waterways. 
Nature has so constructed Bengal that, 
in spite of the heavy expenditure involved 
in bridges and repairing banks, railways 
can be worked on the flat plains at a 
very small cost, compared with the rail- 
ways that have to reach the west coast 
across the western ghats; and if it were 
not for the Government of India support- 
ing the western lines by the imposition of 
minimum rates the traffic freights to 
Calcutta could be reduced considerably, 
attracting to the port the produce and 


manufactures of the greater part of India. 
This is a subject of controversy that is not 
within the province of this article, but 
it is worthy of mention here as showing 
the extraordinary facilities for cheap rail- 
way traffic which the Bengal delta enjoys 
by reason of its flat and gradientless 
railways, as well as by reason of its 
unrivalled waterways. 

It will be seen from the nature of the 
exports that in Bengal, as in many other 
Provinces of India, agriculture is the 
staple industry. This must be so for 
generations to come. The methods of 
husbandry are in many — in fact, in most- 
places of the most primitive kind, but 
gradually improvements are being intro- 
duced. Modern agricultural machinery, 
such as steam ploughs, for instance, will 
be long in making its impression felt on 
the simple cultivator whose wants are 
amply supplied by the primitive plough 
and a pair of oxen; but the possibilities 
of development are unlimited, and with 
the progress of co-operation and the 
gradual enlightenment of the cultivator 
the yield per acre of the agricultural crops 
of Bengal is bound to increase, bringing 
wealth to every class of the community. 
Rice is by far the principal crop of 
Bengal, Behar and Orissa, and, indeed, of 
all India. Of the 76,000,000 acres of 
India under this crop, as many as 
40,500,000 acres are to be found in these 
Provinces, yielding from 13,000,000 to 
15,000,000 tons annually, or in especially 
favourable seasons as much as 21,000,000 
tons. No less than 54 per cent, of the 
net cropped area of the three Provinces 
is under rice crops. This is not surprising 
when it is remembered that rice is essen- 
tially a crop of damp tropical or semi- 
tropical climates. In Bengal it is a 
domestic crop, in that it provides the 
staple food of the people; but rice is put 
to many uses besides. A kind of beer 
(pachwai) is made from it. A dye is 
manufactured from the husk, and the 
straw may be used in papermaking; 
whilst the coarse varieties of rice, espe- 
cially those from Burma, are exported for 
distillation and conversion into starch. 
The exports of rice, husked and unhusked, 
from Calcutta average something like 
8,000,000 cwt. in a year, the greater part 
of the crop being consumed locally. 

Next to rice, the principal crop of 
Bengal, Behar and Orissa, and Assam is 
that of oil-seeds— namely, linseed, sesa- 
mum, rape, and mustard; ground-nuts, 
etc.; and the three Provinces together 
account for, roughly, 21 per cent, of the 

acreage under these crops in India. The 
export of oil-seeds amounts to nearly 
5,000,000 cwts. annually. The economic 
value of this export has always been ques- 
tioned, for it goes without saying that it 
is economically and industrially unsoimd 
for any country to export oil-seeds in large 
quantities instead of manufacturing the oils 
and oil-cake itself. If the manufacturing 
industry were in India, not only would 
the manufacturers' profits be retained in 
the country, but, which is more important, 
comparatively, the country would not be 
deprived of so important a cattle food 
and manure. Before the European War 
the oil-seed output of India was exported 
largely to European countries, and it may 
be hoped that with the restoration of 
normal times tlie manufacture of the oil 
may be undertaken in India itself. 

The products that have given to Bengal 
its prominent position in the foreign trade 
of the world are, however, jute, tea, hides, 
and skins. It is not necessary to deal in 
detail here with the first two of these 
industries, since they are treated in other 
pages of this book, but a survey of the 
trade of Bengal would be incomplete 
without pointing out their preponderance 
in the value of exports and their impor- 
tance in the industrial development of 
Bengal. The capital invested in the 
Bengal jute-mill companies is upwards of 
Rs. 7,50,00,000 at par value, and war-time 
prosperity must have inflated the value 
by anything from 300 to 500 per cent. 
Between them, jute, tea, hides, and skins, 
including jute manufactures, represent in 
normal times something like 77 per cent, 
of the value of the export trade. In war- 
time they assumed, jute especially, an 
added importance, and in 191 5- 16 the 
proportion to the total export trade of 
Bengal rose to 84 per cent. During the 
years of the war the demand for jute 
bags for the trenches and for the carriage 
of grain brought to the jute mills on the 
banks of the Hooghly an unprecedented 
prosperity. The efi^ects of the war on 
the trade, as set out in the report of the 
Collector of Customs for Calcutta for 
191 5-16, are worth placing on record 
here : — 

" Throughout the year the export of 
jute and jute manufactures has been under 
restriction to one country or another, and 
the control of Government on these com- 
modities becomes stricter and stricter. 
But, nevertheless, the year has been one 
of abundant prosperity to the industry. 
Blessed with cheap raw material, an in- 
satiable demand from nearly all countries 

not at war with us, and a Government 
demand which has appropriated a con- 
siderable percentage of the looms, the 
local mills have made profits undreamt 
of in the years of peaceful progress. The 
increase was 26 per cent., with a record 
output; and although the total value was 
less than in 1913-14 (when the raw 
material controlled a very high range of 
prices), it was greater than in any other 
year, and exceeded the previous year by 
40 per cent. With the stoppage of the 
mid-European demand, raw jute has gone 
away in smaller quantities than in pre- 
vious years, but compared with 1914-15 
the tonnage was larger by 23 per cent, 
and the value by 26 per cent. But when 
the shipments of bags and cloth are 
scrutinized, both have reached a summit 
never before approached : the former, in 
number, are better than in the previous 
year by too per cent., and the latter, in 
yardage, by 13 per cent. ; values are 
higher by 60 and 35 per cent, respec- 
tively ; combined, the increased value 
represents 47 per cent. Even ' other ' 
manufactures (twist, yarn, and twine) are 
larger by 30 per cent. In 1914-15 the 
jute trade represented 53 per cent, of 
Calcutta's exports; in the past year it 
has risen to 60 per cent. . . . 

" Last year it was remarked that neither 
the local mills nor the jute trade had been 
so prosperous in 1914-15 as in the pre- 
vious year. The year under report has 
been a remarkable illustration of un- 
exampled prosperity. Jute manufactures 
have risen in value from Rs. 25.77 to 
Rs. 37.90 crores, or by 47 per cent., 
attaining an altitude never before re- 
corded. Both gunny bags and gunny 
cloth have been phenomenal in their 
expansion, the former increasing in 
volume by 100 per cent, and in value 
by 60 per cent. Cloth has advanced 
by 13 and 35 per cent, respectively. 
Throughout the year the mills worked full 
time and overtime for the purposes of 
military requirements. Restrictive ordi- 
nances controlled the export throughout 
the year. There was a constant and ever- 
increasing demand. ... 

" The local mills, in their great pros- 
perity, have surpassed the records of any 
previous year, and have earned in net 
profits in 191 5 the stupendous sum of 
Rs. 4.43 crores, of which Rs. 2.93 crores 
appertained to the second half of the year. 
In the two previous years the net profits 
were Rs. 2.45 crores and Rs. 96.18 lakhs 
respectively. Debit balances have been 
liquidated, large sums placed to reserve, 


and equally large sums distributed 
amongst shareholders. One mill declared 
iio per cent, dividend, one 70, one 60, 
twelve between 30 and 55, and seventeen 
between 10 and 26 per cent." 

Tea also prospered by the large 
demand during the war period. For 
many years past the Indian tea trade has 
been steadily expanding, and the e.Kports 
from Calcutta by sea and land in 1913-14 
were 217,987,401 lb. In 1915-16 the 
quantity had increased to 265,350,000 lb. 
The capital invested in tea companies 
in Assam and Bengal is upwards of 
Rs. 4,00,00,000 at par value, but as many 
of the companies pay handsome dividends 
there has been a considerable apprecia- 
tion in the value of these securities, the 
best of which it is practically impossible 
to obtain in the open market, so highly 
are they prized as an investment. 

For hides and skins the best customers 
of Bengal in normal times were Germany, 
.■\ustria-Hungary, and the United States; 
and the closing of the Teutonic markets 
brought about a temporary crisis, the 
more serious because the trade in 
Calcutta had practically fallen into the 
hands of German and Austrian firms. The 
needs of the war, however, led to its re- 
organization under British control, and 
although the pre-war level had not been 
reached in 1915-16, the trade, neverthe- 
less, was expanding and prosperous. 

Indigo is dealt with elsewhere in this 
volume, and it need be referred to only 
briefly here. A quarter of a century ago 
indigo was one of the most prosperous 
industries in India. The planters of 
Behar were a large and wealthy com- 
munity. Then came the German chemist 
and his synthetic dye, and the acreage in 
India under indigo, which was as much 
as 1,688,000 acres in 1894-5, dwindled 
to 169,221 in 1913-14. In this decline 
Behar was the greatest sufferer. But the 
war and the consequent shutting out of 
the German chemical dyes has brought 
a new spell of prosperity — albeit it may 
be a short one — to the industry. 

The acreage under indigo increased in 
1915-16 to 314,300 acres. Unfortunately, 
adverse climatic conditions reduced the 
yield per acre, but exports from Calcutta 
rose from 8,752 cwts. in 1913-14 to 
13,147 cwts. in 1915-16. The average 
value of the maund, which was Rs. 149 
before the war, touched Rs. 516 in 19 14- 
15, was Rs.419 in 1915-16, and good 
Behar indigo has risen at times to as 
much as Rs. 750 per factory maund. 
Advantage has been taken of the present 

prosperous conditions to make further 
efforts to place the industry on a sound 
commercial basis, and, by scientific re- 
search, to produce natural indigo in such 
a form that after the war it will be able 
to compete on a footing of ecjuality with 
synthetic products. 

Next to the United Provinces, Bengal, 
with Behar and Orissa and Assam, con- 
stitutes the largest sugar-producing area 
in British India; but considering the fact 
that India was probably the original home 
of the sugar-cane, the industry does not 
at present occupy the position which the 
demands of the country and the facilities 
for the growth of the sugar-cane alike 
demand that it ought to occupy. Of the 
total area of 2,708,000 acres under sugar- 
cane in British India more than half is 
in the United Provinces, 19 per cent, in 
Bengal, Behar and Orissa, and 16 per 
cent, in the Punjab. The other sugar- 
yielding plants — namely, the date-palm 
and the Palmyra palm — occupy a total 
area of 166,000 acres, of which 47 per 
cent, is in Madras and 36 per cent, in 
Bengal. Cultivation of sugar in India 
during the last thirty years has shown a 
declining tendency, and the explanation 
is to be found partly in the absence of 
scientific and up-to-date methods of cul- 
tivation and manufacture, and partly in 
the large importation of beet-sugar from 
Germany and Austria, and foreign cane- 
sugar from Java and Mauritius. The 
decline in local cultivation has been most 
marked in Behar and Bengal. The know- 
ledge of the possibilities of India as a 
sugar-growing country,, however, has 
recently led the Government of India to 
devote special attention to the industry. 
Experimental farms and factories have 
been established. Many reports have 
been issued, and these all go to prove 
that sugar-cane can be produced more 
economically in India than in any other 
country in the world. Few industries 
have been subjected so much to fiscal 
influences, such as cartels, bounties, and 
countervailing duties, and first beet-sugar 
and then the cane products of Java and 
Mauritius seriously competed with home- 
grown sugar in India. Hence it comes 
about that India, which once exported 
sugar to Europe, has become herself a 
field for European commercial enterprise 
in the possession of cheap refined sugar. 
Calcutta imports annually sugar to the 
value of between 6 and 7 lakhs. In the 
near future, however, it is quite pos- 
sible that attempts will be made to 
completely revive the indigenous industry, 


and these attempts may not be limited 
to the encouragement of improved and 
scientific methods of cultivation and refin- 
ing. In the Budget for 191 6- 1 7 the 
Finance Member of the Viceroy's Council 
announced a significant departure from 
the fiscal policy of India. There were 
a number of increases in the rate of duty, 
raising the general import tariff from 
5 per cent, to 7^ per cent. In the case of 
sugar, however, it was raised to 10 per 
rent., avowedly for the purpose of 
encouraging the Indian industry. Whether 
this measure of protection, added to the 
efforts of Government to improve culti- 
vation, will restore the sugar trade of 
India to such a position that it will be 
able to provide the needs of the country 
and export the surplus remains to be seen, 
but the departure is a very significant 

In the industrial development of India, 
which has already begun, and which must 
make much greater progress in the near 
future, Bengal, Behar and Orissa, and 
Assam are destined to play a predominant 
part. We have already seen that, in the 
matter of jute especially, the agricultural 
products of these Provinces are of great 
value to manufacturing industries. But 
it is to the vast mineral wealth that we 
must look for industrial development on 
a large and profitable scale. The Pro- 
vinces are favoured in an exceptional 
degree with mineral deposits of the most 
important kind. Of the total output of 
minerals in India, valued in 19 13 at I2j 
per cent., the greater part is derived from 
Bengal, and' Behar and Orissa, whose coal 
output, valued at something like 5 crores, 
is 95 per cent, of the Indian production. 
This great store of coal gives Bengal and 
Behar exceptional industrial advantages, 
and the presence of other allied minerals 
in large quantities is leading to the estab- 
lishment, slowly as yet, of important 

Next to the United Kingdom, India 
occupies the first place in the British 
Empire as a coal-producer. The total 
output in 1913 was 16,208,000 tons, of 
which Bengal produced 4,649,985 tons, 
Behar and Orissa 10,227,557 tons, and 
Assam 270,000 tons. The mines employ 
daily some 150,000 persons, and the 
capital of companies working coal in 
Bengal and Behar is Rs. 5,69,40,000. 
India herself consumes the greater part 
of the coal produced — as much as 94 per 
cent. — and the market for home consump- 
tion is steadily growing, leaving little for 
export. Indian coal exported amounted 


to 759.' 55 tons '" 191 2, the principal 
customers being Ceylon, the Straits Settle- 
ments, and Sumatra. 

Coal is quite a modern industry in 
India. Although the occurrence of the 
mineral must have been known from time 
immemorial, it is only in recent times that 
European enterprise has developed the in- 
dustry. Even now coal is very little used 
by the natives of India in indigenous 
industries, whilst for domestic purposes 
it is scarcely used at all. The increasing 
demand in India for indigenous coal 
comes, therefore, from the railways and 
from the numerous industries of large 
importance that are springing up— the 
jute and cotton mills, the iron and steel 
works, foundries, and other concerns. 
The first analytical reports of Indian coal 
were so unfavourable that attempts made 
to develop the industry in the early part 
of the nineteenth century met with failure. 
The prejudice that so long insisted on 
importing English coal because the local 
mineral was deemed inferior — on analyses 
taken of the deposits near the surface — 
was gradually broken down, but it was 
not until the rise of the jute-nianufactur- 
ing industry that real vitality was given 
to coal-mining. Fifty years ago the 
annual output of coal was imder half a 
million tons. To-day it is over 16,000,000 

Bengal coal has the advantage of being 
by far the cheapest coal in the world, 
and the average value has not fluctuated 
very much in recent years. In 1909 the 
average value per ton at the pit-mouth 
was 4s. 8d. It fell to 3s. nd. in 1911 
— a year of depression in coal — but in 
1913 it was again 4s. 8d., and that figure 
will probably represent the normal 
average price of coal at the pit's mouth 
in India. A comparison with the pit- 
mouth value of other countries for the 
five years 1 908-12 shows how great is 
the advantage that India enjoys in cheap 
fuel :— 

Per Ton. 

s. d. 

India ... 

... 4 8 

United States... 

... 5 lOj 


... 7 6 


... 7 H 

United Kingdom 

... 8 5J 


... 10 4.1 


... 12 7 

The cheapness of Bengal coal is not due 
to any marked inferiority of the mineral 
as compared with the fuels of other 
countries. On the contrary, laboratory 
analysis and practical experiments have 

shown that the finest Indian coals are 
little inferior to the best English and 
Welsh. Whilst labour for working the 
mines is fairly plentiful and cheap in 
India, it is also very inefticient relatively 
to the mine labour of other countries. 
Thus the coal raised per person employed 
in the rest of the British Empire is 266' 2 
tons, whilst in India it is only io9'4. 
In the mines outside India, however, 
machinery is used on a much larger scale 
than has hitherto been necessary for the 
shallow mining operations of India. 
Latterly the use of electricity in the 
Bengal coal mines has become an im- 
portant factor in the efficiency of the 
mines, but expensive labour-saving de- 
vices, such as coal-cutting machinery, 
have not been extensively adopted because 
of the cheapness of labour. During the 
boom period, when the prices were high 
and the labour supply insufficient to give 
the output needed, some colliery pro- 
prietors put down coal-cutting machinery 
at high cost, but as the price of coal fell 
and labour conditions became easier, 
these machines passed gradually out of 
use. The time for them will come again, 
no doubt, when the demand for coal 
exceeds the capacity of the present labour 

With coal, of course, goes iron ore, and 
it is in the iron and steel trades that many 
hope to see in time some remarkable 
developments in Bengal and Behar. As 
has been said already, these are the only 
Provinces in India in which iron ore is 
mined for smelting by European methods. 
From the very dawn of history iron- 
smelting must have been practised by the 
people of Bengal. Weapons used in 
ancient warfare show that a certain stan- 
dard of manufacture, doubtless excellent 
in its day, had been achieved; but with 
the introduction of superior articles of 
Western make the indigenous industry 
declined, and although it is continued to 
this day, it is wasteful in its methods, and 
its achievements are only a poor imitation 
of goods of Eui;opean manufacture. 
Bengal is more concerned, therefore, with 
the modern developments of the industry, 
and the enterprise of the Bengal Iron and 
Steel Company (of which Messrs. Martin 
& Co. are the managing agents) and of 
the Tata Iron and Steel Company, who 
have built great works at Barakar and 
Sakchi respectively, are fraught with 
immense possibilities. The Barakar 
works in 1913 used upwards of 96,000 
tons of iron ore, chiefly derived from 
Manharpur, and they have produced iron 

of a quality which is said to be superior 
to any imported from Europe. The com- 
pany employs upwards of 5,000 persons 
daily. The Tata enterprise is of a later 
date, and, partly under the direction of 
American experts, the works have been 
erected on modern lines. Although con- 
siderable difficulties were at first experi- 
enced in the manufacture of steel, the Tata 
Company, which employs a daily average 
of nearly 9,000 persons, is now producing 
a large quantity, and the Government of 
India, who maintain a testing laboratory 
at Sakchi, have placed a large standing 
order. It is needless to say that the war 
proved of great benefit to the iron and 
steel works in Bengal. The shutting 
down of enemy competition and the extra- 
ordinary rise in freights had a protective 
efi^ect on the local industry, and much of 
the excellent iron and steel used for the 
manufacture of munitions in India was 
locally produced. Naturally, the opera- 
tions of these two companies have made 
an enormous difference in the mining of 
iron ore in recent years. In 1909 Bengal 
and Behar and Orissa raised together only 
72,000 tons, of the total value of £13,000. 
In 1 91 3 the raisings had increased to 
353,813 tons, valued at £35,000. This 
represented by far the greater part of 
the total output for India, which amounted 
to only 370,845 tons. How far this in- 
dustry will develop in the future is purely 
a matter for speculation, but when it is 
borne in mind that India imports annually 
iron and steel materials of the value of 
between nineteen and twenty millions 
sterling on an average, it will be realized 
that there is a great scope for Indian 
manufactures of cutlery and hardware, 
railway plant, iron and steel beams, 
sheets, bars, and so on. There is also 
the prospect of an export trade in iron 
and steel. Japan is already taking large 
quantities of the Tata steel for ship- 
building purposes. 

In the production of manganese ore, 
India competes with Russia for the first 
place in the world, but of India's total 
output of 800,000 statute tons Behar con- 
tributes a comparatively small portion. 

Of the Indian production of mica, which 
amounted to 45,422 cwts. in 1913, or, 
roughly, 70 per cent, of the world's total, 
Behar and Orissa produce over 7 1 per 
cent. As this important industry is dealt 
with separately, however, it need only be 
mentioned here. 

These are the principal minerals at 
present mined in these provinces. .Assam 
has some encouraging oil-springs. Ideal 


climatic and other conditions make Behar 
easily the largest producer of saltpetre 
in India. Behar gives a modest yield 
of copper ore — modest, but still by far 
the largest in India. Prospecting is still 
going on and new deposits are being dis- 
covered. Of these it is impossible yet 
to speak with certainty, and their develop- 
ment may be a matter of years. A recent 
.^.dministration Report of the Province, 
which refers to the encouraging results 
of prospecting for pitch-blende in the 
Gaya district, claims that the pitch-blende 
found is one of the richest in radium 
content in the world. 

We have dealt so far, mainly, with the 
major industries of the Provinces which 
have been established by European enter- 
prise, largely financed with European 
capital, and conducted by European 
managers. In these industries purely 
Indian enterprise and Indian capital have 
so far played an unimportant part, and 
the management is centred in the great 
firms of European managing agents which 
have been established in Calcutta for 
generations past. Indigenous enterprise, 
however, is making itself felt. Indians 
are opening up tea gardens and coal 
mines and cotton mills; but, so far as 
indigenous industries of the old-fashioned 
type are concerned, they have nowhere 
recovered the position that India once 
held as a manufacturing nation and lost 
because her craftsmen, working by hand, 
without capital, or organization, or enter- 
prise, were unable to withstand the com- 
petition of the highly organized industries 
and superior manufactures of the West. 
.Attempts have recently been made to 
revive these indigenous industries, and the 
growth of co-operation has given a new 
hope to the Indian craftsman, the hand- 
loom weaver, the metalworker, and the 
potter. Some of the work that these 
craftsmen produce is of a high standard 
of artistic beauty and quality, but, gene- 


rally speaking, the arts and crafts of 
Bengal have not yet acquired a position of 
sufficient importance to justify treatment 
at any great length. The crafts are 
numerous, but in proportion the popula- 
tion engaged in them is negligible. The 
great majority of the people (35^^ mil- 
lions, or 78 per cent, in Bengal ; 30 
millions, or 81 per cent., in Behar and 
Orissa, according to the last census, which 
was taken before the new division of the 
province) are dependent on agriculture 
and cognate pursuits. Industry claimed 
at the last census but 3I million people 
in Bengal and 3 millions in Behar and 
Orissa. The big jute mills take a large 
number of these workers, and when the 


I'holo hy A'. O. J'oifger. 

balance is distributed amongst the silk- 
weavers, the tanners, carpenters, metal- 
workers, and potters, it will easily be 
understood that these occupations claim 
but a small percentage of the population 
of these Provinces. A new desire for a 
revival of the indigenous industries has 



sprung up during the war, and it was 
hoped to take advantage of the elimina- 
tion of German and Austrian competition 
— once very serious in the bazaars— to 
establish Indian manufacturing industries 
on a firm financial basis. It must be many 
years, however, before any revival of the 
cottage industries and the indigenous 
crafts of Bengal can materially affect the 
industrial outlook of the Province. Future 
progress is mapped out on well-defined 
lines where success has already been won. 
lo the jute industry there is no limit of 
expansion. It was once thought foolish 
to build mills on the Hooghly, but in a 
quarter of a century they have grown in 
number from a dozen to fifty or more, 
and the profits of late have been fabulous. 
The output of Bengal and Behar and 
Orissa coal was under 2,000,000 tons in 
the 'eighties. It was over i 5,000,000 tons 
in 1913. There is practically no limit 
to the expansion of these major industries, 
and the mineral wealth of the Gangetic 
Provinces has scarcely yet been touched. 
The rate of development must depend 
upon the availability of capital and the 
making of railway communications. Indian 
■ capital is shy. In spite of the large 
speculative dealings on the stock and 
share markets of Calcutta and Bombay, 
a comparatively small proportion of 
Indian capital is invested direct in indus- 
trial undertakings. But the well- 
established industries, like jute, cotton, 
coal, and tea, are impressing the Indian 
investor more and more, and in recent 
years the success of light railways under 
good management, with a guaranteed 
dividend, has succeeded in attracting 
capital in a larger degree. The outlook 
is improving year by year, and when the 
accumulating wealth of India is devoted 
to her industrial development, the Pro- 
vinces of Bengal, Behar and Orissa, and 
Assam offer a field for enterprise second 
to none in the world. 



^^ THEN the word " mica " is used 
outside the company of those con- 
nected with the industry, one is imme- 
diately asked : " What is mica? " and, 
"Is mica the same as talc?" It would 
seem advisable, therefore, to give an 
answer to these questions at the beginning 
of this article. 

By J. F. PODGER, Assoc.Inst.M.M. 

Firstly, then, mica is composed mainly 
of silica, alumina, and potash. There are 
many varieties, and all contain other con- 
stituents in greater or less percentages, 
but the composition is mainly silica and 
alumina; while talc, also of many kinds, 
is composed mainly of silica and mag- 
nesL-i. There is this difference between 

the two substances, that whereas mica is 
flexible and elastic, talc is sometimes 
flexible but never elastic. 

It is doubtful when mica was first dis- 
covered, but it has been used in India 
for decorative and medicinal purposes 
from time immemorial. The medicine, a 
sort of patent cure-all, is made by 



reducing mica to a powder (biotite mica 
is usually employed), which is mbced with 
cow's urine and baked, this damping and 
baking process being repeated several 
times. The resulting medicine, rather like 
fine brickdust, is expensive, and is pos- 
sibly as efficacious as some other patent 
powders. Mica has been found in the 
wrappings of ancient Egyptian mummies, 
and Thales, the Greek, knew of it some 
time before 550 B.C. It is related, too, 
that Columbus had his ships' lanterns 
fitted with it when setting out on his 
search for America. 

The "Memoirs of the Geological Survey 
of India," vol. xxxiv, part 2, contain the 
following legend : " In ancient times, or 
Sat Yoga, it is supposed that in order to 
kill the enemy of the gods, Baratur 
(V'itra), Indra lifted his thunderbolt 
vajra, and a flash of lightning spread 
throughout the length and breadth of the 
sky, while the sparks which fell on the 
mountains were preserved in the form 
of mica." 

Locally, many of the coolies believe 
that it grows, this idea being probably 
due to the fact that nearly all new out- 
crops are discovered during the first days 
of the rains, which wash away fallen leaves 
and dead grass, and so expose the surface 
of the ground more clearly than at other 
times of the year. 

Mica is a constituent of all granites, 
although it only reaches commercial size 
in the giant granites, commonly referred 
to as granite pegmatite or simply peg- 
matite. Any consideration of the origin 
of mica resolves itself into a question of 
the origin of granite pegmatite, than 
which there have been few subjects more 
discussed or more controversial. The 
generally accepted theory is that these 
rocks originated by the crystallization of 
fluid magnas which have been forced from 
greater depth to fill the faults and fissures 
of the country rock into which they were 
thus forcibly intruded. It is not proposed 
to attempt to argue the question here, but 
it is relevant to remark that this theory 
appears to be well borne out as more 
knowledge of the physical conditions of 
the pegmatites and country becomes 
available. This doctrine is not entirely 
incompatible with that of precipitation 
from solution, as Nature, like the Mother 
of Parliaments, can arrive at a workable 

It would be correct to say that mica 
IS found in almost every known country 
of the world, but, from a commercial point 
of view, the following are the countries 

in which it is found : India, Canada, the 
United States, East Africa, South Africa, 
Ceylon, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Guate- 
mala, Labrador, Norway, Iceland, Russia, 
Japan, and .Australia. Of these countries 
the greatest producers are India, Canada, 
and the United States, although there are 
possibilities that East Africa also may 
become one of the important producing 
centres. The earliest workings were in 
India, the Hindus raising mica for orna- 
mental purposes in the neighbourhood of 
Delhi very many centuries ago. 

The first shipments of Bengal mica are 
recorded as being made in 1863, but it 
was not until its unrivalled properties as 
an electrical insulator became known that 
the industry began to expand and assume 
some considerable importance in the 
mining and industrial world. 

The whole of the Bengal mica area, 
extending through the districts of Haza- 
ribagh, Gya, and Monghyr, comprises, 
roughly, 750 square miles, and was almost 
entirely the property of nat' ■ ;• Rajas and 
Zemindars. The chief outsi ie area was 
the Kodarma Forest, a tract of about 50 
square miles lying on the north of the 
Hazaribagh district, on the borders of 

In or about the year 1872 the Govern- 
ment leased the mica-mining rights 
throughout the whole of this forest to a 
gentleman who had already acquired 
similar privileges over most of the 
Zemindari property. The rent accepted 
for the forest was about Rs. 270 annually. 
As practically the whole of the mica- 
producing area was then in the hands of 
one owner, there were no difficulties 
regarding mining or fears of theft. All 
visible mica belonged to the same pro- 
prietor, and the method of working was 
to send coolies into the jungles to dig 
and roughly trim it, and subsequently 
carry it to central godowns, the coolies 
being paid pro rata, according to size 
and weight. 

It was not until about 1896 that 
Government asked for an enhanced rent, 
and, failipg to get it, demarcated the 
several workings and put them up for 
sale by auction, the term of possession 
being for one year only. This system of 
annual auctions lasted until about 1902, 
and as much as Rs. 10,000 were obtained 
for the rent of one deposit in some years. 

There need be no hesitation in saying 
that this system of annual auctions was 
the direct cause of the spoliation of the 
deposits and the consequent lack of 
mining methods, and it ought to have been 


obvious to any one that the result of such 
a policy would be the ruin of the work- 
ings. The lessees, having twelve months 
in which to recover their money, took out 
every ounce of mica they could get; they 
cut out all pillars, made no attempt to 
support any of their excavations, and 
formulated no plan of development or of 
permanent working for their mines. The 
better the prospects of the deposit the 
more it cost the lessee, and the less likely 
he would be able to retain it at the 
expiration of his lease. 

Owing to the intervention of Mr. (now 
Sir) Thomas Holland and the interest of 
the then Viceroy (Lord Curzon of 
Kedleston) in industrial work, a new 
form of lease was drawn up about the 
year 1902, which gave mining rights for 
a term of thirty years over minimum areas 
of 40 acres. 

Would that we had Sir Thomas back 
again I Government has reverted to its 
Gilbert and Sullivan methods, and, 
although it retains the thirty years' term, 
it adds such rules and conditions to the 
lease as make it impossible to work profit- 
ably. Apparently Government is obsessed 
with the idea that mica and coal are 
synonymous terms for the same mineral. 
Unhappy managers of mica mines have to 
put up with visits, suggestions, and orders 
of inspectors who have never in their lives 
worked, even if they have ever seen in situ, 
any other mineral than coal. 

The distribution of the mica through 
the pegmatite is generally admitted to 
be entirely irregular or " pockety," and 
following no imaginable rule of occur- 
rence, but it is possible that it does con- 
form to certain rules which have not yet 
been recognized. Be that as it may, it is 
a fact that most of the workings, until 
recent years, were carried out by the 
simple process of following the strings 
of mica crystals through the pegmatite 
in irregular workings, and necessitated the 
employment of large numbers of women 
to keep the mines clear of water and 
debris. The usual procedure was to have 
two rows of women from the working face 
to the surface of the ground ; one row 
passed down empty baskets and water- 
jars, which were filled at the bottom and 
then sent along to the other women to be 
thrown out at the surface. This system 
is still carried on to a large extent, but 
more mining-like methods are now coming 
into general practice. 

In a paper on " The Mining, Prepara- 
tion, and Uses of Mica," read in London 
in February 19 13, it is stated that explo- 



sives are seldom used, and that the tools 
employed in the mines are of a primitive 
nature and are usually made locally. If 
the author of that paper had ever experi- 
enced a visit from the Inspector of 
Explosive Magazines he would have 
written differently, as Nobels' dynamite 
is used throughout the mica-field, and 
the consumption of it runs into many 
hundreds of cases annually. It is neither 
necessary nor desirable that the mining 
methods now employed by the most 
important companies in this Province 
should be expounded, as they are dealt 
with elsewhere in the descriptions of the 

One of the greatest difficulties the 
management of mica concerns has to con- 
tend with is the question of theft. It is 
doubtful if any mining company secures 
the whole of its output, and the higher 
police officials, in conversation, have given 
it as their opinion that a quantity equiva- 
lent to a lakh of rupees in value, up to 
half the output of the mines, is stolen 

The Kodarnia Mica Mining Association 
took up the matter strongly, and the 
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province was 
good enough to visit Kodarma and discuss 
the matter with the Association. A draft 
Bill for the " prevention of mica theft " 
was submitted to the local Government, 
but the latter decided that the matter had 
better be postponed for a time, and the 
Association has accepted this decision as 
a temporary one only. 

One might give numberless instances 
showing the absolute impunity with which 
thefts of mica are carried out, but mention 
of two cases will suffice for the purpose 
of demonstrating the insufficiency of the 
protection afforded by the local police 

A bullock-cart was discovered at half- 
past ten at night outside a godown at 
Debour, lo miles from Kodarma, and 
coolies were seen to bring sacks of mica 
and to place them in the cart. The driver 
and his cart were apprehended and taken 
to the police-station, where the man's 
defence was that he went to sleep, and 
that while he slept some evilly-disposed 
persons must have loaded his cart. He 
was a Kodarma cartman, but he did not 
know why he had gone to Debour, and 
he plaintively added that he was a poor 
man ! The police kept the mica, and there 
was an end of that case. 

On the night of February 28, 191 5, 

Tt of a large crystal of mica was cut 
out of a pillar in a level driven from a 

shaft at a depth of 60 feet from the sur- 
face, and on the following morning the 
manager of the mine concerned discovered 
the theft. He had a shrewd notion as to 
the culprit, and went straight to the go- 
down of the person suspected and there 
found a part of a large crystal of mica. 
He waited at the mine until the suspected 
man arrived, and then returned with him 
to Kodarma, where he handed him over 
to the police, giving full details of the 
case and a request that the Sub-Inspector 
would visit the mine, fit the portion of 
crystal from the godown into the mica 
left in the pillar, and thus procure irre- 
futable evidence as to the identity of the 

forward by an insignificant body of 
miners of that substance. 

During the year 19 13 the shipments 
from Calcutta amounted to 49,949 cwts., 
although the total output from the mines 
of the whole Province, according to the 
official Report of the Inspector of Mines, 
amounted to only 31,239 cwts. 

It is extremely rarely that a perfect 
mica crystal, unbroken and undistorted, 
is found, and the writer of these notes has 
not yet seen one during seventeen years' 
experience. The crystals are all broken 
and distorted in situ, are striated, bent, 
and frequently cut up into strips, 
triangles, and quadrilaterals by minor 



stolen piece. The police undertook to 
do this without any delay. They, how- 
ever, took no steps at all for more than 
twenty-four hours; then they visited the 
mine, but did not then or at any subse- 
quent time enter it, contenting themselves 
by sending coolies down to remove from 
the pillar that part of the crystal which 
remained. Therefore they not only 
deliberately refrained from obtaining 
evidence themselves, but they took it out 
of the power of any other person to do so 
subsequently. The case was lost for lack 
of evidence, and the police kept the 
mica I 

The opponents of the Bill put forward 
by the Association stated that it would ruin 
their businesses; and possibly it would, 
for, as one of them rather quaintly com- 
plained in a letter to a Calcutta news- 
paper, there are thousands of mica 
traders, while the Bill was brought 


cleavage planes, and it is these triangles 
and quadrilaterals which are frequently 
mistaken for the perfect crystal. 

At the end of the day's work the rough 
mica from the mines is brought to the 
surface and split into sheets about one- 
eighth of an inch in thickness, the latter 
being subsequently tied in bundles of 
about 40 lb. each and carried into the 
company's godowns. 

The course of preparation of this rough 
mica consists in trimming, sorting, grad- 
ing, and splitting. It is split by Ithe 
cutters into convenient thicknesses for 
trimming with a sickle (this means a 
thickness of about a thirty-second part 
of an inch), and all rough and cracked 
edges are cut off with as little waste as 
possible. This method of trimming leaves 
a sound plate of curvilinear configura- 
tion, containing the greatest possible area 
of sound mica that could be secured from 



the rough piece. This is certainly a less 
wasteful plan than that employed in 
Madras, Argentina, and Brazil, where the 
rough mica is cut into approximate 
rectangles by guillotine shears. These 
trimmed curvilinear plates are known as 
slab mica, and are sorted into sizes, 
" Special " and " No. i " to " No. 6," 
these sizes being based on the area of 
the largest rectangle of sound mica that 
could be cut from each slab. 

The areas of the standard sizes are as 
follows : No. 6, not less than l square 
inch; No. 5, under 6 square inches and 
not less than 3 square inches ; No. 4, 
under lo square inches and not less than 
6 square inches; No. 3, under 15 square 
inches and not less than 10 square inches ; 
No. 2, under 24 square inches and not 
less than 15 square inches; and No. i, 
under 36 square inches and not less 
than 24 square inches ; while for the 
" Special " size, all areas not less than 
36 square inches are included. 

In addition to these recognized sizes, 
some firms produce a small No. 5, con- 
sisting of slabs of 2\ square inches only ; 
A I size, intermediate between No. i and 
Special ; and an Extra Special size, con- 
taining slabs of not less than 48 square 

The No. 6 size is graded into two quali- 
ties — clear and stained ; black-spotted 
No. 6 is not usually brought from the 
mines, the value being nominal ; all other 
sizes are graded into the qualities — clear, 
slightly stained, stained, densely stained, 
spotted, and densely spotted. 

The No. 5 and No. 6 stained qualities 
are converted into splittings. The other 
grades are packed in cases containing 
about 56 lb. net, and it is most desirable 
that two sizes or qualities should never 
be packed in the same case, as buyers 
of one kind may have no use for the 

The splitting of the No. 5 and No. 6 
slabs into films suitable for the manu- 

facture of micanite is done by women 
and children. Special knives are used 
for the purpose, and a skilled labourer 
is able to split to a given thinness — say, 
one twelve-hundredth part of an inch — 
with an extraordinary degree of 

As the value of the films depends on 
their being uniformly thin and free from 
torn or cracked pieces, it is evident that 
close supervision is required at all split- 
ting factories, as there may be upwards 
of 5,000 films in a pound, and even a 
comparatively few thick films in a case 
will seriously affect the value. The work 
of splitting is carried on by contract, the 


PHafo by A'. O. Pods:tr. 

operatives receiving a fixed rate per seer, 
according to the quality manufactured. 

The first exports of Bengal mica, in 
1863, amounted to about 67 cwts.; the 
average yearly export for the period 

1904-8 was 23,624 cwts.; and although 
the increase was maintained until 1912, 
when 51,646 cwts. were exported, there 
has been a falling otf since then, the 
figures being 49,949 cwts. for 1913 and 
29,124 cwts. for 1914. 

The Annual Report of the Chief 
Inspector of Mines gives a total of 12,314 
persons employed daily in the Bengal 
(now Behar and Orissa) mica mines, but 
this figure does not include those em- 
ployed in godowns and factories. The 
factory labour, it should be observed, is 
considerably in excess of that employed 
actually on the mines. 

The principal use of mica is in the 
manufacture of electrical machinery. The 
invention of micanite, a sort of cardboard 
made of splittings, built up with a shellac 
cement, and consolidated under pressure, 
put a value on all the smaller sizes of 
mica, which had hitherto been discarded 
as valueless. Micanite can be moulded 
into any desired form, and is therefore 
capable of being used in a greater variety 
of forms than the slabs in their natural 

A very considerable quantity of clear 
slab mica is used in the condensers of 
wireless telegraphy installations, for stove 
windows, incandescent gas chimneys, 
gramophone diaphragms, compass cards, 
and other purposes. 

A small quantity of waste mica is 
pulverized, and the resulting powder is 
used as a lubricant; other portions are 
converted into efificient boiler-packing, 
and lagging for steam-pipes, but the 
supply very greatly exceeds the demand. 
The Canadian Phlogopite mica is superior 
to the Bengal product for the manufacture 
of powder, and that country having the 
advantage of cheaper freight to the Euro- 
pean market, and possessing practically 
unlimited supplies of waste mica, it is 
unlikely that this Province will be able 
to enter into serious competition with the 





Scientifically, mica comprises a 

*^ group of rock-forming minerals, 
found in most parts of the world. The 
principal members of the family are 
Muscovite, Biotite, Phlogopite, and Lepi- 
dolite, all of them showing, in varying 
degrees, a marked tendency to cleave in 


a single direction. Confining our remarks 
to Behar, the two varieties of this mono- 
clinic crystal which are found are Musco- 
vite and Biotite. Only the former has 
any commercial value, and occurs in 
crystals of many colours — ruby, green, 
yellow, and white — frequently with black 


spots and splashes, due to the presence 
of iron and other foreign matter. Com- 
mercially, it may be said the ruby colour 
is preferred, especially when free from 
stains and spots. 

Not much is known about mica, as, 
geologically, it has not been closely 

, Manaoing Directors Bi N(iALow AT DoMCHAKcH. i. Offices and Factoky, Domchanch. 3. Lokai Offices and Factory. 4. TisKi Offices and Factory. 

5. Bungalow at Tisri. 

21 = 


2. Sorting and Grading Mica. 3. SrLiriixu Mica ai Lokai Factory. 


4. Knu-e-cltting and Examining Mica. 

I. Dispatching a Coxsiunment. 2. Main and Hallage Gear, Jh.agriah Mine. 

3. Mais and New Vertical SHAtT (u.\der coxstrucito.n), Buriah Mixk. 


4. Part ok the Mica Dlmi's at Tisri. 


studied; nor is it a mineral tliat obeys 
any very specific rules of occurrence. In 
Behar it is most commonly found, per- 
haps, in coarse pegmatite veins having 
a barren quartz core, and with foot and 
hanging walls of mica schist, the mica 
itself occurring at the contacts of the 
pegmatite with either the schist or 

Such a vein may vary in thickness from 
a few inches to 50 feet and more, measur- 
ing from foot to hanging wall ; may have 
a " strike " of a few feet to a mile, and 
on the dip may go down to a depth 
unknown, though several deposits appear 
to be very superficial. 

The richness of any vein varies largely 
in different places, both along the strike 
and the dip. This, added to the general 
uncertainty of occurrence and the enor- 
mous wastage, makes mica-mining a very 
hazardous and speculative industry. 

While in America mines have been 
taken to nearly 1,000 feet of depth, owing 
to primitive methods heretofore employed 
in Behar a mine has to be exceptionally 
rich to exceed 150 feet on the vertical, 
while the very deepest can scarcely 
exceed 300 feet, which is the depth to 
which the Bunderchua mine of Messrs. 
Chrestien & Co. was taken before work 
was stopped. 

Once the vein has got below the level 
of surface influence, and where it can be 
affected by the infiltration of water and 
mud, depth in itself does not appear to 
have any influence on the quality of the 
mica. Mica is a most wasteful mineral 
to mine, scarcely 5 per cent, of the actual 
mica contents of any vein being of value. 
The mineral occurs in crystals known 
commonly as " books," from their inclina- 
tion to split into sheets like the pages 
of a book . 

These books vary much in size and in 
weight, from the fraction of an ounce to 
as much as half a ton, while crystals 
weighing from too lb. to 200 lb. are of 
daily occurrence. The value of mica. 

however, does not depend on the original 
size of the book, but on how that book 
has made up, i.e. on its freedom from 
cross grain or twining and from cracks. 
The books when found are dislodged by 
boring and blasting, and are then brought 
to the surface and split up into large and 
thick pieces. Such pieces as are obviously 
useless are thrown away on the mine, 
while the rest is sent to be dressed. After 
this the mica goes to the central factory 
of the mine-owner to be prepared for 

The mica field of Behar and Orissa is 
the chief mica field in India, and covers 
a belt of some 600 square miles, where 
the districts of Hazaribagh, Gya, and 
Monghyr meet, though the lion's share 
of the mines lies in the first-named 

The mica belt consists of a tangle of 
low hills, dying away into a flat tableland 
some 1,000 feet above the sea, and 
covered with a jungle of sal trees. In 
this jungle are to be found a few tigers, 
sometimes of marked man-eating pro- 
pensities, leopards, the sloth bear, and 
the big woodland deer the sambhur. 

Splittings are exported to the manufac- 
turers of " micanite." Though micanite 
has now become almost a dictionary word, 
like " tabloid," it is really the trade-mark 
name of an American firm who were the 
first to manufacture micanite at Shenec- 
tady, U.S.A. 

Artificial plates made from splittings 
and shellac are then subjected to great 
beat and pressure to remove the surplus 
shellac and the resultant micanite, which 
gives out a metallic ring when struck, can 
be cut into convenient sizes and used for 
electrical insulation. Year by year the 
consumption of mica by the three great 
buyers has increased. These three buyers 
were London, Hamburg, and New York. 
The Great War, by removing the custom 
of Germany, has naturally had a depress- 
ing effect on the industry, which, it is 
to be hoped, will only be temporary. 

The principal mica concern in Behar 
— and, in fact, in the world— is Messrs. 
F. F. Christien & Co., Ltd. This com- 
pany was formed in 191 i to take over the 
long-established business privately owned 
by Mr. F. F. Chrestien, who pioneered 
the industry as long ago as 1 871, prac- 
tically every mine in the mica belt of 
Behar having been worked by him at some 
time or another. 

At present the company, besides con- 
trolling large areas .and many mines in 
Behar, works mines in the Madras mica 
field of Nellore. The company, which has 
its registered offices at Domchanch, via 
Kodarma, East Indian Railway, has its 
most important mines in the Government 
forest of Kodarma and in several private 
estates, of which the principal is Gawan. 
an estate in itself as large as the whole 
Kodarma Forest. The company maintains 
some 16 factories to deal with the mica 
it produces or buys, the chief of which 
are at Domchanch, Lokai, and Tisri. 

In normal times some four or five Euro- 
peans are engaged and a staff of over 100 
babus to control the 8,000 coolies em- 
ployed in the mines and factories. As 
the mines and factories of the company 
are dotted over some 600 square miles 
where railway facilities are very small, 
the company has to maintain motor-cars 
and several horses as means of loco- 

The annual expenditure of the company 
in Behar only amounts to about 8 lakhs 
of rupees. 

Owing to the heavy rains that take 
place between June and September, the 
company, like others, has found difficulty 
in keeping the mines sufficiently dry to 
work by the primitive method of hand- 
baling formerly in vogue. The company 
has now begun to tackle this particular 
difficulty by the use of steam-pumping 
and hoisting, and hopes within a year or 
two to have some 30 mines, each equipped 
with the necessary installation of boilers, 
pumps, and hoists. 


■ ' I " } I E lac industry is one of the most 
■^ ancient of the minor industries of 
India. Lac is a resinous incrustation pro- 
duced . by insects known as Tachardia 
Lacctt, which swarm over the twigs of cer- 
tain trees, suck up the sap, and give out an 
excretion which solidifies on contact with 

the air, and a scale is gradually formed 
round their bodies. This process con- 
tinues until the twigs are encased by the 
incrustation. In this form it is collected 
by the villagers and sold in the local 
country markets as " sticklac," from 
which the product known as " shellac " is 

manufactured. Another substance known 
as " lacdye " is also obtained from stick- 
lac, and formerly there was a large 
demand for it, but since the introduction 
of synthetic dyes the demand has dis- 
appeared. The chief districts in which 
sticklac is found are Behar and Orissa, 

1. CRUSHING Stick-Lac. 

1. Assorting Shellac, 

3, Washing Crushed Lac, 


J^ ^* ^^J^^^- 'ti-4i3j iSv=- 

I. Manl'facti-rino Shcllac from Seed Lac. 


2. Washing Crushed Stick-lac, 

3. Drvino Crushed Lac 



the Central Provinces, the United Pro- 
vinces, the Punjab, Assam, and Burma. 
There are many qualities of sticklac which 
vary according to the district and the 
kinds of trees on which it is grown. 

The manufacture of shellac is largely 
in the hands of the natives of India, and 
their methods are primitive and practically 
the same now as they were hundreds of 
years ago. Several factories worked by 
machinery have been started, but with few 
exceptions none of them have so far been 
a success. 

The process of the manufacture of 
shellac by the country hand-made method 
is as follows : The sticklac is broken up 
and granulated and the dye is then washed 
out. This is done by soaking the grain 
in water and rubbing it with the hands and 
feet, in stone vessels, and rinsing with 
water until free of dye. The washed grain 
is then known as " seedlac " and is ready 
to be made into "shellac." This operation 
requires considerable skill. The grain 
after being mi.xed with a small quantity of 
arsenic, so as to give the shellac a lighter 
and better appearance, is put into long 
sausage-shaped bags, one end of which is 
held by a man in front of a charcoal fire, 
and the other end being slowly twisted by 
an assistant. The pressure produced by 
twisting and the heat of the fire causes the 
lac to melt out through the cloth. The 
melted lac is then scraped off the bag by 
the man holding the end nearest the fire, 
and after sufficient is collected he places 
it, while hot, on to a cylindrical glazed 
earthenware vessel, over which it is spread 
into a thin sheet by another assistant, who 
quickly picks up the sheet, warms it at 
the fire, and by holding the bottom corners 
with his toes, the top corners with his 
hands, and the centre with his teeth, 
gradually e.xtends himself until the sheet 
is sufficiently stretched and the right thick- 
ness obtained. The sheet, when cold, is 
broken up into flakes. 

There are many qualities of shellac, 
but the standard article of commerce is 
known as " T N," the quality depending 
on the kind of sticklac from which it is 
made. The principal manufactures in 
which shellac is used are varnishes, hats, 
electrical appliances, and gramophone 
records as well as other goods in a less 

Previous to 1907 the average yearly 
production in India of shellac amounted 
to 145,000 chests, or 213,616 cwt., but 
during the past ten years it has risen to 
250,000 chests or 386,335 cwt. The 
market has always been a very speculative 

one, and subject to violent fluctuations, 
the average yearly price having varied 
from 60 shillings to 2 i 5 shillings per cwt. 


The Chief Inspector of Mines in India 
stated in a recent Report that the coal 
industry appeared to be in a remarkably 
healthy condition, and he certainly had 
good grounds for this assertion, seeing 
that the output has been increasing 
gradually for several years, although 
there was a slight set-back in 1909 owing 
to the inundation of several mines. The 
railway companies are by far the largest 
purchasers of coal, although there is a 
growing demand for steamships, jute, and 
cotton mills, iron and brass foundries, 
and other commercial concerns. 

The Provinces of Bengal and Behar and 
Orissa yield approximately 90 per cent. 
of the total quantity raised in the course 
of a year, and the Jherria fields, in which 
the coal estate of Jogta, near Sijua, be- 
longing to Messrs. Agabeg Brothers, is 
situated, are the richest in India. Mining 
operations commenced in Jherria in 1893, 
and it was in the same year that Messrs. 
E. C. and A. A. Agabeg began to de- 
velop their property, which covers an area 
of about 190 acres. There are five seams 
of solid coal, measuring fully 100 ft. in 
thickness, and it is estimated that fully 
25,000,000 tons will eventually be ob- 
tained. Six inclines (the longest of which 
is 1,700 ft.) and one shaft of a depth of 
300 ft. are being worked, and an average 
monthly yield of 24,000 tons can be 
secured. The beds consist of hard coal of 
first-class quality, containing from 10 to 
1 2 per cent, of ash, and the product is 
brought to the surface by a number of 
steam engines, which are capable of 
raising a load of about 5 tons in weight. 

The firm have a loading-up wharf of 
considerable length (which, by the way, 
can be used throughout the night, as it 
is illuminated by electricity), and as many 
as ninety wagons can be accommodated 
on the sidings and filled in the course 
of a day. A very large amount of 
the coal is exported to various places 
throughout the world, and, while the rail- 
ways in India take an appreciable quan- 
tity, it is satisfactory to observe that the 
demand for industrial and domestic 
purposes is growing steadily. Messrs. 
Agabeg Brothers are fortunate in possess- 
ing a colliery which is so singularly free 
from the dire effects of too much water 

that the amount registered during wet 
seasons does not e.xceed 10,000 gallons 
an hour, while in dry weather there is 
scarcely any necessity whatever for pump- 
ing operations being carried on. 

The manufacture of coke is part of the 
pioneer work undertaken by the firm, and 
up-to-date ovens have been erected, which 
are now turning out a considerable quan- 
tity, equal in quality to the imported fuel. 

The arrangements for the supply of 
water for general use arc most complete 
in every respect, as a sufficient amount for 
all purposes is forced by a pump through 
pipes, which are laid from a tank (holding 
2,000,000 gallons) to all portions of the 

The Province of Behar is decidedly in 
the van with regard to the possession of 
beautiful residences surrounded by well- 
kept grounds, and the estate now under 
notice is a notable illustration of this fact. 
The bungalows are substantially yet artis- 
tically built ; they are fitted with modern 
improvements, including electric light ; 
and they are charmingly situated among 
a wealth of flowering trees, shrubs, and 
plants. The East Indian Railway system 
has a station on the property, and a 
double-line private siding is attached to 
the colliery. Among the principal build- 
ings are a Government Lecture Hall, post 
and telegraph offices, garage, manager's 
quarters, and coolie lines, constructed of 
brick, and the majority of these are con- 
nected by telephone and have electric 
lighting installations. Two European 
assistants are employed under the 
general manager, Mr. W. R. Lascelles, 
in the supervision of about 1,400 Indians, 
many of the latter being engaged in the 
workshops, in which all kinds of repairs 
for the mining machinery are undertaken. 

The partners are Messrs. E. C. and 
A. a; Agabeg (the latter being the 
managing director), and they have in- 
vested in their mining concern no less 
a sum than nine lakhs of rupees. These 
gentlemen liave had nearly forty years' 
experience in mining matters in India, and 
they have rendered most valuable assist- 
ance, both by precept and practice, in 
placing the coal industry on a sound com- 
mercial basis. 


The manufacture of shellac in India 
can be traced back for several genera- 
tions, but the methods of preparation 
were, until about sixty years ago, of a 
very primitive character. Notes upon this 

I. Dki'ot with Wagons. 

J, A General Yikw. 3. Xo. 3 Incline, 

4. Office .and Power-holse, 



Manauer's Bunualow. 




I. Maix Gatk axu Office. z. Ukvixo axu Wokkin ; Yaui>. 


Ma.vaoek's Bungalow. 2. Gkxehal View of Loading Whakk. 3, No. 7 Inxlined Shaft. 

4. Colliery Office. 



industry will be found on another page of 
this volume. 

Early in the fifties of last century Mr. 
M. K. .Angelo, of Calcutta, became greatly 
interested in the production of shellac. 
He was particularly struck by the fact that 
no attempt had been made to prepare it 
in any other manner than by, the old 
native hand method. He gave serious 
attention to the question, and after a num- 
ber of experiments had been conducted, 
he established a factory at Cossipore, near 
Calcutta, in the year 1855. 

The earliest output of machine-made 
shellac from the factory consisted of 

the now widely known Garnet Lac o\c 

and for a considerable number of years 
that was the only machine-made lac. Mr. 
Angelo continued his investigations, how- 
ever, and he eventually discovered a pro- 
cess by which he was able, to make 
orange lac. and the now well-known mark 

A B 

/t\\ was put on the market. 

The output of the factory increased 
steadily year by year, and in 1907 the 
concern was reconstructed, and a limited 
liability company, known as Angelo 
Brothers, Ltd., was formed. 

That event led to further experiments 
being made, and in 191 5 an improved 
method of making various kinds of 
orange shellac was adopted, and " Angelos 
T.N." is now becoming familiar through- 
out the shellac world. 

A well-equipped laboratory has recently 
been added to the factory, and scientific 
research has enabled the company to im- 
prove their methods continually. They 
now manufacture many grades of orange, 
garnet, and button shellac, and make a 
special study of the kind suitable for the 
various trades receiving it, and are always 
glad to give advice to buyers. 

The registered oflices of the company 
are situated at 6 Lyons Range, Calcutta, 
and the managing agents are Messrs. 
Turner, Morrison & Co., Ltd. 

M. Y. AFCAR & CO. 

The commercial world in Calcutta lost 
an honoured business colleague, and the 
Armenian community a cherished adherent 
of strong personality and genial nature, 
on the death, in the year 1914, of Mr. 
Minas Vertannes Apcar, the founder of 
the firm of Messrs. M. V. Apcar & Co., 
of 6 Fancy Lane. That gentleman was 
born at Julfa, Ispahan, in Persia, in 

November 1862, and such were the mis- 
fortunes under which he laboured — and 
through no fault of his parents or him- 
self — that when he arrived in India at the 
age of fourteen years, his belongings 
consisted only of a small quantity of 
personal clothing. Truly this was an un- 
enviable predicament for a boy, but Mr. 
Aleck Apcar sent him to St. Xavier's and 
the Armenian Colleges for only one and a 
half years (one year of which was spent at 
the latter and six months at the former), 
where he soon proved the metal of which 
he was formed. When the time arrived 
for the youth to make a start in business 
life he entered the important firm of 
Messrs. Burn & Co., but he shortly after- 
wards found employment with Messrs. 
Apcar and Demetrius, where he worked 
for a short period. Fired with a laudable 
ambition, young Apcar took a bold for- 
ward movement, and with " Excelsior " 
as his motto he commenced business on 
his own accoimt, holding jute agencies, 
then becoming successively a Zemindar 
and a colliery owner. 

Mr. Apcar's energy and strict integrity 
were strong features in his everyday 
transactions, and these characteristic 
traits had undoubtedly much to do with 
the magnitude and importance which the 
business had assumed at the time of his 
death. His son, Mr. John Minas Apcar, 
was associated in the management of the 
concern, and he and his brother, Mr. 
Thomas Minas Apcar, are now sole 
partners; and they are, further, the 
owners of several valuable properties in 
Calcutta, which they inherited from their 
late father. 

They are proprietors of jute presses 
at Chaora Hat, Dewan Hat, Baneswar, 
Balarampur, Kakina, Haitbanda, Baura, 
Gauripur, and Dhubri. They purchase 
the raw material in up-country districts, 
and after it has been pressed and baled 
it is consigned to mills in Calcutta, where 
the private mark or brand of the firm is 
accepted as a guarantee of quality. 

Messrs. M. V. Apcar & Co. are, further, 
proprietors of the M. V. A. coal concern 
at Joyrampore, in the famous Jherriah 
field ; and they are also agents for the 
Seang line of steamers, plying between 
Chinese and Indian ports. 

The telegraphic address of the company 
is " Minascar." 


The sole proprietor of this well-known 
firm is Mr. VV. C. Banerjee, who has 

worked his way, by dint of sheer energy 
and honesty of purpose, to the position 
of one of the leading commercial men in 
Calcutta. He belongs to an honoured 
middle-class family, and he has carved 
his own way without having had at the 
outset any of the special advantages 
which have been enjoyed by so many 
others at the commencement of their 
careers. Mr. Banerjee passed an ex- 
amination for a Government clerkship, in 
addition to another in accountancy, and 
his first step in public life was taken in 
the Political Department of the Govern- 
ment of Bengal; but, finding promotion 
too slow, he entered the service of the 
East Indian Railway Company, where he 
was employed in a branch of the agent's 
office dealing with the transport of coal, 
and he was thus brought into close 
relationship with colliery owners and 
dealers in that commodity. He engaged 
in coal brokerage for a time, and after 
three years' engagement with Messrs. 
Grindlay & Co., bankers, Mr. Banerjee 
commenced business on his own account 
as a coal broker and merchant, taking 
up selling agencies for collieries on 
a commission basis. He subsequently 
financed a number of concerns, charging 
interest on advances, plus a fixed com- 
mission on the annual output of each 
mine ; but when a boom in coal occurred 
in India, in the year 1907, he promoted 
a few limited companies, under the 
management of European firms, and by 
these means obtained capital to enable 
him to purchase collieries on his own 

The following particulars relate to half 
a dozen collieries owned by Messrs. 
Banerjee & Co. 

The Poniati Coal Concern and the 
Poniati Coal Company comprise 250 
bighas of land in the important Ranee- 
gunge field, in the district of Burdwan. 
Poniati coal, mined in the villages of 
Furridpur and Domohani, is hard, lumpy, 
and smokeless, and burns steadily, leaving 
very little ash and absolutely no clinkers. 
It is an excellent coal for locomotives, 
and is used largely on several railways, 
and in jute mills. Government factories, 
and in a number of steamships. The 
average annual output from the two mines 
is 48,000 tons. 

The area of the Joogidih Coal Concern 
is about 330 bighas, and seams Nos. 10, 
II, and 12 of Jherria good second-class 
coal are worked. The normal yield is 
some 48,000 tons yearly, but owing to 
a temporarily unsatisfactory market the 



'^ I. PoxiATi Coal Co\'cerx : So. A Pit. 2. N'o. i I'lr, Engixe-house, Boilers, axd Headgear, South Baraboxi Colliery. 

3. N'o, 2 Pit, Exgi.xe-house axd Headcear, New B.araboxi Colliery. 4. Jambad Coal Coxcern, No. 2 Pit. 5. No. 4 Incline. New Kusuxda Colliery. 

6. Peei'Rataxd Coal Coxcerx's Ixclixes. " 7. Mk. W. C. Baxekjee. 




I. R. B. Sircar & Sons' Kihkexd Colliery. 2. R- B. Sircar & Sons' Kirkend Colliery-2 Pits. 

3. R B. Sircar & Sons' Kirkknd Colliery— Loading and Unloading Arrangements. 




output has been restricted recently to 
I 2,000 tons. 

The Sinidih Colliery is about three 
miles distant from Katrasgarh Station, on 
the East Indian Railway system, and 
comprises 150 bighas of land. The 
annual raisings are about 24,000 tons. 

The Jambad Colliery has an area of 
about 900 bighas in the Raneegunge dis- 
trict, and the product is particularly, 
suitable for locomotives and steamers, 
although it is credited with yielding the 
best soft coke in Western Bengal. About 
18,000 tons of coal have hitherto been 
brought to the surface annually, but when 
six prospective pits have been developed 
it is expected that this quantity will be 
increased to 100,000 tons. 

Not more than a mile distant from 
Mohuda Station, on the Bengal-Nagpur 
Railway, is the Peepratand colliery, 
which possesses excellent seams of gas 
coal of high illuminating power. It 
strongly resembles English coal, and is 
a favourite in gasworks, factories, and 
mills which require gas-producing fuel. 
The present return of 18,000 tons will, 
it is confidently expected, be increased 
to nearly 50,000 tons in course of time. 

These properties are now styled the 
South Baraboni Coal Concern and the 
New Baraboni Coal Concern. Messrs. 
Banerjee & Co. have recently purchased 
from the South Baraboni Coal Company 
and the New Baraboni Coal Company two 
collieries near the Baraboni Station, on 
the East Indian Railway. The product of 
these mines is unexcelled in quality 
(being obtained from the bottom or 
Dishergarh seam), and the demand for 
railways, mills, and steamships has 
become so great that orders cannot at 
all times be executed. Rather more than 
40,000 tons are brought to the surface 

A sub-lease has, further, been obtained 
of Messrs. E. Meyer & Co.'s Neemcha, 
colliery, 1,100 bighas in extent, with three 
pits of first-class Raneegunge coal, which 
is particularly suitable for use in mills 
and industrial factories generally. The 
annual output is about 48,000 tons. 

The following collieries are controlled 
by Messrs. Banerjee & Co. as managing 
Agents : — 

The New Kusunda Coal Company, 
Ltd., formed, in October 1908, with an 
authorized capital of Rs. 104,000, is the 
owner of 150 bighas of coal-bearing land 
in Mouzah Kusunda, in the district of 
Manbhum, in the Jherria field. An 
average annual quantity of 48,000 tons 


of coal was obtained up to the year 19 14, 
when this mine — in common with others 
in the same neighbourhood — suffered con- 
siderable damage owing to floods; but 
at the time of preparing these notes 
it was hoped that the mischief done 
would be quickly repaired, and that 
the directors would be able to declare 
the customary dividend of 10 per cent. 
per annum. Local railway authorities 
speak highly of this coal, as it burns 
brightly without being rapidly consumed, 
and many years ago Mr. F. R. Hughes, 
F.R.G.S., published a fine testimony in 
its favour in the Memoirs of the 
Geological Survey of India. 

Messrs. R. B. Sircar and Sons' Kirk- 
end collieries are situated near Parbad 
and Kusunda, on the Bengal-Nagpur and 
East Indian Railways respectively, and 
they consist of about 200 bighas of 
land, from which the very best coal for 
locomotive purposes is obtained. Nearly 
all the railway systems in India receive 
supplies from these mimes, while country 
mills, especially in the Presidency of 
Bombay and in the Punjab, are very 
large purchasers. About 100,000 tons 
of coal are produced annually. 

The Tentulia colliery, owned by the 
Central Tentulia Coal Company, and 
situated about three miles from Katras- 
garh, on the East Indian Railway, and 
the Angrapathra colliery, not more than 
a mile from the same station, comprise 
scams Nos. 11, 12, 13, and 15 of Jherria 
coal, and the major portion of the output 
is taken for railway and milling purposes. 
Hard coke, prepared out of machine- 
screened dust, finds a ready sale among 
foundry owners. 

First-class anthracite coal, of the well- 
known Salanpur seam, is obtained from 
the Siriskanali colliery, about a mile dis- 
tant from Salanpur Station, on the East 
Indian Railway; while the Ramnagar 
seam, in the same colliery, produces 
shining bituminous coal, which is used 
largely for the making of hard coke. 
These two workings belong to the 
Salanpur Coal Concern. 

The Central Kendah Coal Company 
has a colliery near Toposi Station, on 
the East Indian Railway, and it yields 
about 18,000 tons of second-class Ranee- 
gunge coal, suitable for household 

Selling agencies are held by the firm 
for the following colliery companies : 
Laik's Neamutpur and Hathnol col- 
lieries, in which the famous Dishergarh 
and Sanctoria seams are worked; the 

Jeenagarah colliery, comprising Nos. 1 1 
and 12 Jherria seams, and producing coal 
adapted for railways, cotton mills, and 
ginning factories; Khora Ramjis Khas 
Jherria collieries, situated at the Jherria 
Station of the East Indian Railway; the 
Gareria collieries, at Bansjora Station, on 
the same railway system, working No. 10 
Jherria seam; and the Kujama colliery, 
near Jherria Station, whose products are 
purchased chiefly by mill and factory 

Messrs. Banerjee & Co. have coal 
depots at Shalimar and Howrah, on the 
Hooghly River, where they keep a large 
stock of coal for bunkering purposes; 
they have another at Ultadanga, whence 
coal is supplied to oil and flour mills in 
Calcutta; and another at Bhadreshwar 
Ghat, for the delivery of coal to jute mills 
and brick manufacturers. 

The firm are, further, largely interested 
in iron, hardware, and metal of all kinds, 
supplying considerable quantities to 
municipalities, railways, the Royal Indian 
Marine, ordnance factories, arsenals, tea 
gardens, collieries, and jute mills; they 
are agents for piece goods for Mr. .Arthur 
Davy, of Bradford, and are sub-agents 
for the Burma Oil Company, Ltd. 

Mr. W. C. Banerjee is a director of 
several coal companies in Calcutta. He 
founded the Indian Mining Federation, 
under the Bengal National Chamber of 
Commerce; and in earlier days he led 
the way in agitating for the right of 
Indians to be given contracts for the 
supply of coal to State and company 
owned railways in India. 

The offices of the firm are at 7 Swallow 
Lane, Calcutta, and their telegraphic 
address is " Joogidih." 


Coal was discovered in Bengal in or 
about the year 1 770, but very little mining 
was carried on until the East Indian Rail- 
way Company extended its system in 
1854 to Raneegunge, in the very heart of 
the most important coal-producing centres 
in India. Prior to the opening of the line 
coal had to be conveyed to boats on the 
Damuda River, but as this stream was not 
navigable for more than four months in 
the year it will be understood that there 
was little inducement to capitalists to in- 
vest money in commercial enterprises 
which would be so seriously handicapped 
in the disposal of their products. 

The Bengal Coal Company, usually re- 
ferred to as " the premier coal company 



of India," was formed in 1843, the present 
registered offices being at 8 Ciive Row, 

Rights were obtained by the company 
over about 80,000 acres of land, but the 
area in which coal deposits arc situated 
covers about 50,000 acres in the Ranee- 
gunge, Giridih, Jherria, and Palamow 
fields. The collieries now being worked 
are known as Seetalpore, Sanctoria, Sode- 
pore, Banksimulia, Damudarpore, Koilhi, 
Bhatdee, Murulidih, Chanch, Dumar- 
kunda, Dhobidih, and Ranecgunge. 

The coal is unrivalled in India for rail- 
way, navigation, factory, mill, household, 
and other purposes, but a word or two 
should be added about the nature of some 
of the seams in pits. 

Excellent coal of a gaseous nature is 
raised chiefly at Bhatdee, and large quan- 
tities have been supplied to the gas 
companies of Calcutta, Bombay, and 
Colombo, while the Committee of the 
Allahabad Exhibition reported that " this 
was found to be a coal very suitable for 
gas-making in producers as it does not 
clinker, and this is a most important 
point. It burns with a remarkable free- 
dom from smoke, a feature which may be 
greatly in its favour." 

Another large consumer wrote: " I have 
subjected the coal sample to a very drastic 
test with regard to its non-caking char- 
acter, and have no hesitation in stating 
that it is a most suitable fuel for suction 
gas plants constructed on the semi-bitu- 
minous principle. Another great feature 
in its favour is that it showed no disposi- 
tion to clinker, and its utility for the 
above-named purposes should find it a 
ready market." Hard, clean-burning, and 
non-clinkering locomotive coal is obtained 
from the famous Kurhurbari, .Seebi)orc, 
and Chanch scams of the Barrakcr series, 
and it is held in high esteem by owners 
of factories and steamers having plenty 
of draught. The Mohoda coal has a 
bright and shiny appearance, and breaks 
with a sharp cleavage, while it is regarded 
by consumers as one of the best products 
of the Jherria field. The company have 
received numerous letters from chief 
officers of steamers and others who have 
had practical experience of the value of 
the Deshergur coal for raising and main- 
taining a sufficient pressure of steam 
during a series of voyages, and there 
is in these testimonials a general consensus 
of opinion that this is one of the best on 
the Calcutta market. 

It is only to be expected that, as more 
than seventy years have elapsed since the 

formation of the company, very great im- 
provements should have been effected 
upon the whole estate, but the most im- 
portant developments have been in con- 
nection with the raising and transport of 
coal, in providing modern machinery and 
plant, together with electric power for 
lighting, pumping, and other purposes, 
and also in the establishment of an over- 
seas trade with Ceylon, Burma, the Straits 
Settlements, and other places. 

The total output of the mines for the 
year 1905 was 596,966 tons, while at the 
end of 191 5 the quantity had risen to 
more than a million tons per annum, and 
employment was being found for about 
6,000 persons. 

A glance at a recent balance sheet and 
statement of accounts shows that the 
capital of the company is Rs. 30,00,000; a 
sum of more than Rs. 80,000 is received 
annually from properties leased to other 
companies or individuals and from royal- 
tics; large sums are set aside annually for 
depreciation; and dividends during the 
past decade have ranged from 16 to as 
much as 70 per cent, per annum, while the 
average for that period has been rather 
more than 35 per cent. 

The managing agents of the company 
are Mcssr.s. Andrew Yule & Co., of 8 Clive 
Row, Calcutta. 


From the various collieries controlled 
by Messrs. Bird & Co. is derived an 
annual output of 1,500,000 tons, and em- 
ployment is given to about 12,000 hands. 
These collieries are electrically equipped 
and installed with modern machinery for 
the preparation and screening of coal, and 
are situated as follows : Loyabad, Mudi- 
dih, Teetunmuri, Budroochuck, Katras, 
Choytoodih, and Jumoni, in the Jerriah 
field; and Saltore, Lutchipore, Hatgoori, 
Bhaskajuri, Charanpur, Burelia, Bankola, 
Kantapahari, Jamgram, and Joba, in the 
Ranecgunge field. 


The development of industrial concerns 
throughout India was exceedingly slow 
until about three or four decades ago, 
when the extension of railways made it 
possible for raw material produced in fer- 
tile districts in Provinces and States to 
be transferred quickly from inland regions 
to manufacturing centres, and the facili- 

ties thus granted have been the means 
of linking together the agriculturists of 
the villages on the one hand and of 
capitalists in cities on the other. 

Coal was known to exist in untold 
quantity, but mining was not undertaken 
seriously, as the necessity for the use of 
this mineral as fuel had never been 
realized. The railways of the country 
burned timber, which was readily pro- 
cured, for the firing of their engines, and 
there were scarcely any industries which 
required other than manual power. But 
an enormous change has taken place 
since the importation of Welsh coal for 
the bunkering of steamers, as the eyes 
of financiers and merchants were at once 
turned to the vast wealth of the coal- 
fields of India, but more particularly of 
the Bengal Presidency and the Province 
of Behar and Orissa, which now yield 
about 95 per cent, of the total qiuntity 
raised to the surface in the whole of the 

The railways alone consume fully one- 
third of the coal production of India, but 
large consigimients are secured for cotton 
and jute mills, brick and tile works, iron 
and brass foundries, ocean and river 
steamers, and for industrial and domestic 

Messrs. F. W. Heilgers & Co., of the 
Chartered Bank Buildings, Calcutta, were 
among the first merchants to seize the 
opportunities presented by the new state 
of affairs, and their enterprising spirit has 
placed them in nearly the leading position 
in India of those who handle large 
quantities of coal. They are managing 
agents for the following colliery and 
coal companies, namely : the Borrea 
Coal Company, Ltd., the Bhulanbararee 
Coal Company, Ltd., the Govindpur Coal 
Company, Ltd., the Khas Jherriah Col- 
liery Company, Ltd., the .Sendra Coal 
Company, Ltd., and the Standard Coal 
Company, Ltd., with mines of first-class 
coal in the famous Jherriah fields in the 
district of Manbhum, in the Province of 
Behar and Orissa, together with the Ondal 
Coal Company, Ltd., whose works are in 
the Ranecgunge coal area, in the district 
of Burdwan, in the Bengal Presidency. 

These companies have a total author- 
ized capital of Rs. 40,25,000, and the 
majority of them have, during the past 
two or three years, been paying very 
satisfactory dividends, the Khas Jherriah 
Company alone having declared 170,200, 
and 180 per cent, per annum for 19 13, 
1914, and 191 5. 

Nearly 1,000,000 tons of coal are now 


I. No. } Pit, Saltokk. 

2. No. 1 Pit. Saltoks, .i I'owkk-iioiisk iniikk Consthvction. 



I. SiAiiosi Standard Colliery. 2. No. 10 Prr Hkadgear, Standard Colliery, 3. No. 7 Incline at Bhl'lanbararee. 

4 Central Pit, Bkulanbararee. 



raised annually from the various mines, 
and in normal times a considerable por- 
tion of this quantity (which is about one- 
fifteenth of the total quantity produced 
in India) is exported to the Straits 
Settlements, Ceylon, and ports in India. 

The machinery at each colliery is quite 
up-to-date in every respect, and it is 
driven by steam excepting at the Stan- 
dard and Bhulanbararee mines, where 
largely electric power is used. 

From 10,000 to 12,000 hands are 
employed on the properties. 


The most valuable deposits of coal in 
India are found in the Provinces of 
Bengal, and Behar and Orissa, chiefly 
in the districts of Chota-Nagpur and 
Burdwan, the seams running along the 
valleys formed by the Barrakur and 
Daniudar rivers. The climate of India, 
and in earlier days the quantity of forest 
timber available for fuel, are responsible 
for the fact that the necessity for develop- 
ing a mining industry was not apparent, 
but a glance at Government statistics of 
exports shows that, as wood became more 
and more, scarce, there was a correspond- 
ing increase in the output of the older 
mines and -a disposition on the part of 
investors to open up other coal-bearing 
areas. One might illustrate this by giving 
the quantity of coal produced in Bengal 
at the close of the three decades between 
the years 1879 and 1914. In the fonner 
year the amount was 891,047 tons ; ten 
years later 1,541,356 tons were raised; 
in 1899 the production reached 4,035,265 
tons ; and in 1914 no fewer than 
15,727,631 tons were brought to the 

Tliv Raneegunge Coal Association, 
Ltd., for whom Messrs. Kilburn & Co., 
of Fairlie Place, Calcutta, are Managing 
Agents, was formed in 1873 by taking 
over from Messrs. E. D. Kilburn and 
others the lands known as Lot Jamgram 
and Bansra, in the district of Burdwan ; 
but other properties have been acquired 
from time to time with the result that 
the Association is now (19 16) in posses- 
sion of thirty-four separate villages, 
having a total measurement of 39,586 
l)ighas. Nearly 37,000 bighas have been 
leased for periods ranging from 99 to 
999 years, at an annual rent of about 
Rs. 44.368. 

The principal colliery, Kustore, is 
situated in the Jherria field, and covers 
area of 2,428 bighas. It is divided 


into three parts, known as Kustore North, 
Kustore South, and Alkusa District (in- 
cluding Gundudihand part of Keska),and 
each of these is managed by a European 
holding a first-class certificate of com- 
petency, while the colliery as a whole is 
supervised by a General Manager. 

According to the geological survey, 
there are fifteen separate seams, at various 
depths, in Kustore Mouzah, and four- 
teen separate seams in Alkusa Mouzah. 
Numbers 10, 11, i2, 13, 14, and 15 seams 
have been opened out. The method of 
working in the early stages of develop- 
ment was by means of inclines along the 
outcrops, but eventually the sinking of 
shafts was adopted. There are now seven 
shafts fully equipped and raising coal, 
the deepest shaft being 550 ft. Each 
shaft is fitted with steel pit-head frames 
connected with coupled and direct- 
winding engines, steam being supplied 
from Lancashire and Babcock and Wilcox 

The pumping plant installed at the 
colliery is of the three-throw motor type 
and turbo sets, the capacity varying from 
6,000 to 45,000 gallons per hour for each 
pump. The electrical power plant con- 
sists of one turbo k.w. set of 750 h.p. 
by the British Thomson-Houston Com- 
pany, Ltd., and 200 and 400 k.w. sets of 
the Bellis and Morcom high-speed com- 
pound engines. The switchboard and 
motors at the colliery are of the British 
Thomson-Houston make. 

The colliery is fully equipped with 
loading sidings and depots connected 
with the East Indian and Bengal-Nagpur 
Railway systems. Each siding is fitted 
up with mechanical screening and loading 
plant, which classifies the coal in four 
different sizes — namely, steam, rubble, 
smithy, and dust. 

The accommodation for the labour con- 
sists of masonry dowrahs with jack- 
arched roofs, each room being 10 ft. by 
10 ft. The workmen have a good supply 
of filtered water, supplied through pres- 
sure filters by the Jewell Filter Company, 
the colliery being served throughout by a 
complete system of pipes and water-taps. 

The European bungalows are fitted 
throughout with electric lights and fans. 

The quantity of coal dispatched since 
the opening out of the colliery is 
3,774,190 tons, to the end of March 19 16, 
and it is estimated that approximately 
74,494,828 tons are still to be mined. 

The ordinary capital consists of 
Rs. 9,00,000, in 90,000 shares of Rs. 10 
each. Accounts are made up half-yearly. 

for periods ending March and September, 
and dividends are declared at meetings 
of shareholders in June and December. 



The Indian Collieries Syndicate, Ltd., 
was registered in London in the year 
1902, with an authorized capital of 
£100,000, of which £90,000 has been 
issued — namely, £15,000 of 7 per cent. 
preference and £75,000 of ordinary 
shares, together with a debenture issue 
amounting to £64,110. Messrs. Kilburn 
& Co., of 4 Fairlie Place, Calcutta, are 
Managing Agents. 

The properties of the company con- 
sist of five mouzahs, in the district of 
Manbhum and villages, having a total 
area of 10,551 bigl^as, or 3,0 14I acres, 
equivalent to an area of rather more than 
4 J square miles ; and they comprise (i) 
Mouzah Jamadoba, consisting of 1,162 
bighas, leased from the Raneegunge Coal 
Association, Ltd.; (2) Mouzah Jorapuk- 
hur, 4,750 bighas, leased from the 
Central Jherria Coal Company, Ltd.; 
(3) and (4) Mouzahs Doongri and Puttya, 
4,536 bighas, leased from the Rajah of 
Jherria; (5) Mouzah Kapurgoria, 103 
bighas, leased from the Raneegunge Coal 
Association, Ltd. The whole estate is 
commonly known by the single name of 
the Jamadoba Colliery. 

The seams now being worked by the 
company are in the Jherria coal district — 
namely, Nos. 17 and 18, and the esti- 
mated contents of these respectively are 
5,000,000 and 6,000,000 tons. 

From a geological point of view, there 
is nothing of a remarkable nature, but 
it is noticed that " the greater portion of 
the property lies in a basin, the proved 
lines of outcrops of seams 17 and 18 
forming a semi-circle, dipping to a point 
within the property itself, the dip being 
approximately I in 10 from the north- 
east, increasing to l in 2i in the 
opposite directions following the out- 
crop." An analysis of a sample of coal 
extracted from seam 17 gave the follow- 
ing results : Fixed carbon, 64*22 per 
cent. ; volatile carbonaceous matter, 26 
per cent. ; ash, 8'20 per cent. ; mois- 
ture, r58 per cent. ; specific gravity, 
•'3 '3° P"r cent. The Jamadoba and a 
portion of the Jorapukhur workings were 
opened prior to the year 1908, and they 
comprise a number of inclines in Nos. 17 
and 18 seams, which are mechanically 



2. Shafts Nos. lo and ii, Kustore. 3 Shafts Nos. 4 axu 5 Klstore Soith. 

4. Generating Station, Kustore South. 



I. Workshops, Poweh Station, and Filter Hoisks, Jamadoba Coi.uekv. 2. No. i Baxk, Jamadoba Coi.lieicy. 

4. Pits Xos. 2 axd 3, Divisio.x No 2, Jamauoba Colliekv. 

3. Electrica Coal-sortixu and Screexixg Plant. 



equipped with endless-rope haulage or 
with the usual main haulage system. 

According to the geological survey, 
there are seventeen separate seams, at 
various depths, in Jamadoba, Doongri, 
Puttya, and Kapurgoria, and eighteen 
separate seams in Jorapukhur mouzah. 
Developments have only been made in 
Nos. 17 and 18 seams. 

In the early stages of development of 
the Company's property the seams of coal 
were opened out by means of inclines 
along the outcrop, but eventually it was 
found necessary to sink shafts to improve 
the raisings and workings. There are 
three shafts fully equipped and fitted with 
steel pit-head frames direct-winding 
engines, Lancashire boilers, and Weirs 

The water underground is conveyed to 
the surface by means of 3-throw and 
turbo pumps, all of which are electric- 
ally driven. Steam pumps arc also 
utilized at certain centres. 

The colliery is provided with sidings 
and connected with the Bengal-Nagpur 
Railway system, each siding being 
equipped with a mechanical screening 
and loading plant which classifies the 
coal in four different sizes, viz. steam coal, 
rubble, smithy, and dust. 

The electrical installation consists of 
150 and 250 k.w. sets of the Bellis and 
Morcom high-speed compound engines, 
connected with Babcock and Wilcox 

The labour is housed in comfortable 
dowrahs with arched roofs and verandas. 
Each block is made up of twenty rooms, 
each room being about 10 ft. square. 

An excellent supply of water from the 
Damuda River is maintained, and filtered 
through two lo-ft. Jewell gravity filters, 
and from an elevated reservoir situated 
at a high part of the colliery the water 
is distributed throughout the colliery 

A certain number of the European bun- 
galows are fitted with electric lights and 

The total quantity of coal dispatched 
since the opening out of the colliery is 
2,75,959 tons, but as the Company is yet 
in its infancy, as far as development is 
concerned, a greatly increased output 
is anticipated. The colliery is at present 
equipped with plant capable of raising 
35,000 tons monthly. 



This concern was registered in 1908, 
with Messrs. Kilburn & Co., of 4 Fairlie 

Place, Calcutta, as Managing -Xgents. 
The Company's properties are situated 
in the Raneegunge coal-field, and are con- 
nected with the East Indian Railway 
system. They consist of 2,834 bighas, 
in Mouzahs Bansra, Toposi, Dhusal, and 

The only property at present worked 
is Toposi. This concern has been proved 
by bore-holes in the centre of the colliery, 
four seams of coal being proved, viz. 
Toposi, Chowkadanga, Dhusal, and 

The upper, or Toposi, seam is being 
worked by means of inclines and shafts, 
but recently the Chowkadanga seam has 
been opened out, at a depth of 290 ft. 
There are two shafts for working the 
Toposi seam, and two shafts for the 
working of the Chowkadanga seam, but 
the opening out of the latter is a new 
undertaking, and only one shaft has cut 
through the scam of coal. 

The capital is Rs. 3,00,000, in shares 
of Rs. 10 each, of which Rs. 2,69,730 has 
been paid up. The accounts of the 
Company are made up annually, for the 
period ending March 31st, and meetings 
of shareholders are held in May or June. 


Reference is made elsewhere in this 
volume to the rise and subsequent develop- 
ment of the coal industry in the Bengal 
Presidency and in the Province of Behar 
and Orissa. It has been shown that in 
the year 1880 the total quantity of -coal 
produced in the whole of India was less 
than a million tons, and although it was 
evident that the extent of workable coal- 
fields was almost unlimited, practically 
little or no real mining work had been 
undertaken. That indifference arose prin- 
cipally from the fact that there was no 
appreciable demand for this mineral, see- 
ing that wood was being used as fuel for 
household purposes and for railway and 
other engines, and further, that industrial 
enterprises, in which steam' was required, 
were still in their infancy. In addition 
to these reasons there was another im- 
portant one, namely, that ocean-going 
steamers arriving at Bombay or Calcutta 
did not require coal as they had invariably 
filled their bunkers with the product of 
the Welsh mines before leaving England. 

A few far-seeing capitalists, however, 

realized the immense possibilities of 

mining in India, colliery after colliery 

being opened, and as analysis proved 


that the product was, generally, of 
first-class quality, the industry grew so 
quickly that thirty years later the 
quantity raised to the surface in 
twelve months was about twelve million 
tons. Such was the commencement of an 
industry which has affected every branch 
of commercial and social life, and the in- 
fluence which it has had upon the financial 
progress of the country is incalculable. 

The Lodna Colliery Company, Ltd., 
formed in 1896, are owners of mines in 
Mouza Lodna, Puttiadih,Mankanali Chuck, 
and Madhuba, all of which are situated 
in the famous Jherria coal-fields in the 
district of Manbhum, in the Province of 
Behar and Orissa, and they subsequently 
acquired the Chasnalla property, about 
five miles distant from Lodna. 

In 19 I 3 an extensive coal-bearing tract 
of land was purchased at Sripur in the 
well-known Raneegunge area, pits being 
sunk to a depth of 1,000 feet, and about a 
year later they obtained from the Jherria 
Coal Company the property known as 
Bhaga, which adjoins the Lodna colliery. 

During the year 1916 the company 
completed the erection of a by-product 
recovery plant of the the latest approved 
type, and in addition to the manufacture 
of about 3,000 tons of coke monthly, cor- 
responding quantities of coal tar and 
sulphate of ammonia are produced. 

Messrs. Turner, Morrison & Co., Ltd., 
of 6 Lyons Range, Calcutta, are manag- 
ing agents of the company. 


The first coal property taken over by 
Messrs. McLeod & Co., of 3 1 Dalhousi« 
Square, Calcutta, was the Singaran River 
colliery, in 1895, which is situated in the 
Raneegunge district, the first coal-bca-ing 
area in Bengal to be exploited. The 
acquisition of this colliery was followed 
in 1 90 1 by the purchase of the Gopali- 
chuck and Marine collieries, in the 
Jherriah district, and in 1907 the Bans- 
jora colliery was taken over. The Sodech 
colliery was also acquired and floated as 
a joint-stock company in 1907, and tliis 
property includes the Sudi scam, better 
known as " Desherghur," one of the finest 
quality seams of coal in India. All these 
collieries are the property of joint-stork 
companies, having a total capital of 
Rs. 29,00,000, including debentures, and 
their total output of coal is about 
3,00,000 tons annually. 

The Jherriah collieries work first-class 
quality coal, viz. seams numbered 13, 14, 




I AND 2. Views ok the Goi'alichuck Coal Co-mpaxvs Collieries. 






and 1 5, which vary in thickness from 1 2 to 
20 feet. Where the seams outcrop on 
a property, the coal was won by means 
of inclines, but as the workings gradually 
extended pits had to be sunk, and some 
of the shafts vary from 250 to 400 feet 
in depth. 

The collieries have a ready demand for 
their coal, particularly Gopalichuck and 
Marine, which for years past have sup- 
plied large quantities to the various 
Indian railways, and to jute, cotton, and 
other mills. The export of Bengal coal 
from Calcutta averages about 3,000,000 
tons annually, and during recent years 
Messrs. McLeod & Co. have sent regular 
supplies of this mineral to Rangoon, 
Colombo, Bombay, Singapore, and 

The employees at the various collieries 
comprise 13 Europeans and about 2,000 


The coal deposits in India are of such 
vast proportions, and labour is so cheap 
compared with other countries, that the 
question has frequently arisen as to 
the causes which have operated against 
the development of the mining industry, 
which would eventually bring almost 
untold wealth to the promoters, and 
would give employment to hundreds of 
thousands of hands at remunerative 

Wood is generally used for fuel for 
domestic purposes in this part of the 
world, but as the supply of timber is 
becoming exceedingly scarce, its price has 
risen to a very considerable extant during 
the past few years, and it is evident that 
coal mining must, even if that were the 
only reason, be taken up much more 
seriously in the future. 

Owing to the high price and scarcity 
of wood in many districts, coal in the 
form of " soft coke " is finding favour 
with the Indians for domestic use. This 
soft coke is made from inferior grades 
of Bengal coal, usually obtained from 
quarries or shallow mines. It is manu- 
factured by piling coal in fairly large 
heaps, containing about twenty tons, and 
setting fire to it. When nearly all the 
free volatile matter is driven off the heap 
is quenched, leaving what is termed soft 

The railway companies are by far the 
largest purchasers of Indian coal at the 
present time, the annual consumption 
being about 4,000,000 tons out of a total 
production of 12,000,000 tons. Ocean 

steamers are next on the list ; cotton 
mills are but a few points lower; then 
jute mills, iron and brass foundries, 
inland steamers, and various agricultural 
and industrial concerns follow in the 
order named. 

The total exports of coal from this 
country in 1900 was 490,000 tons, and 
after alternating increases and decreases 
for the next ten years, the quantity 
shipped from these shores was about 
988,000 tons in 19 10, the principal 
destinations being Ceylon, the Straits 
Settlements, and Sumatra. 

Several reasons might be given for the 
comparatively slow progress which has 
been made, but it is probable that the 
chief cause was the general depression 
in trade and agriculture throughout the 
world, which resulted in impoverished 
railway and shipping returns, adverse in- 
fluences which tended to limit the open- 
ing-up of new lines and to bring about the 
crippling of certain industries. 

Notwithstanding the difficulties of the 
past, however, investors will not fail to 
notice that the output was doubled during 
the decade from 1900 to 19 10, and that 
since that date there has been further 
steady progress. 

Messrs. Macneill & Co., of 2 Clive 
Ghat Street, Calcutta, are interested in 
a variety of industries, and one of the 
most important of these is the managing 
agency which they hold for five collieries 
in the Raneegunge and Jherria fields— 
namely, the Equitable Coal Cornpany, 
Ltd.; the Aldih Coal Company, Ltd.; 
the Hurriladih Coal Company, Ltd. ; the 
Nodiha Coal Company, Ltd.; and the 
Mundulpoor Coal Company, Ltd. 

The equitable Company was registered 
in the year 1863, and there are five col- 
lieries in full working order, particulars 
of which are as follows : In the Ranee- 
gunge field there is the Dishergarh Col- 
liery, 2,000 biggahs ' in extent; Jamuria, 
with an area of 5,588 biggahs; Bejdih, 
1,983 biggahs; Chowrassie, 3,533 big- 
gahs; and Hurriladih, in the Jherria 
field, consisting of 950 biggahs. , 

Taking these collieries in the order 
named, it may be observed that mining 
is carried on at Dishergarh from four 
pits and one incline, and the seams of 
coal of first-class quality — 14 to 20 feet 
in thickness, at an angle of 10 degrees — 
are yielding about 225,000 tons annually, 
although the raising of steam and stock 
coal during twelve months from July 

' A biggah is equivalent to 1,600 square yards, 
i.e. 34'„ biggahs to an acre. 


1914 was 240,200 tons. The pits vary 
in depth from 202 feet to 487 feet, but 
two others are now being sunk which will 
descend to about 1,100 feet. No royalty 
is levied upon this property, but the 
company pays an annual rent of 
Rs. 11,472; and there are 2,375 male 
and female adults in daily employment 
above and below ground, together with 
30 children under 1 2 years of age who 
are on the surface. 

The Jamuria colliery is represented by 
eight pits (from four of which coal is 
raised), varying in depth from 157 feet 
to 463 feet; they have a 14-feet bed 
lying at a grade of 3 degrees; the yearly 
output is 145,000 tons; and the rental 
is fixed at Rs. 860, without royalty. The 
adult employees are 774 in number. 

The 14-feet seam of best Dishergarh 
seam coal at Bejdih runs through two 
pits, which range in depth from 873 feet 
to 1,097 feet. The workings are yet in 
the development stage, but when com- 
pleted they are estimated to produce 
140,000 tons per annum and find employ- 
ment for 1,000 head of labour. 

There are six inclines at Chowrassie, 
containing 9-feet seams of good second- 
class coal, lying at an angle of 16 degrees, 
upon which there is a rental of Rs. 1,948, 
together with a royalty of 4 annas per ton 
on steam coal, rubble, and coke, and 
I anna 6 pies per ton on dust. This 
mine has been closed since October 1913, 
when a fire occurred; but about half of 
the mine has since been recovered, and 
will be capable of producing i 50,000 tons 
per annum. The Hurriladih mine has two 
pits and three inclines, with two scams 
of coal at an inclination of 6 degrees. 
One of these, No. 16, contains 8 feet of 
second-class coal, but it has not been 
worked to its fullest extent in consequence 
of arrangements now in progress for 
sinking the pits to No. 14 seam, 26 feet 
in thickness, which consists of a first-class 
bed at a depth of 475 feet. A royalty 
is payable here of 5 annas per ton on 
steam coal and rubble and 10 annas on 
coke, together with 3 annas on dust. 

It is estimated that there are yet some 
hundreds of millions of tons of first- 
quality coal which can be raised from 
these five collieries, and with even a 
greater output than exists at present, the 
life of these pits must inevitably be a 
long one. 

The capital of the company consists of 
Rs. 400,000, in 6 per cent, cumulative 
preference shares divided into 4,000 
shares at Rs. 100. together with 


Rs. 20,00,000 in ordinary shares, divided 
into 200,000 shares each of Rs. 10. The 
dividends paid on ordinary capital during 
the past ten years give an average annual 
amount of 24 per cent. 

Another of the managing agencies held 
by Messrs. Macneill & Co. is that of the 
Nodiha Coal Company, which was regis- 
tered in 1907, with an ordinary capital 
of Rs. 400,000, divided into 40,000 
shares of Rs. 10. It is estimated that 
the beds of coal will eventually yield 
some 6,000,000 tons, although the present 
yearly output is only some 50,000 tons. 
The property, which is called Nodiha, is 
situated in the Raneegunge field, and 
comprises 1,427 biggahs. 

.\ 7-foot seam of second-class Disher- 
garh coal, lying at an angle of 22 degrees, 
is worked from three inclines by 43 i men 
and women, but no children are employed 
upon any part of the works. The royalties 
are 7 annas on steam and rubble coal, 
4 annas on duSt, and 10 annas on coke. 
Several causes have militated against a 
really satisfactory development of the 
mine up to the present time, and divi- 
dends paid average only ik per cent, per 
annum since the company's inception. 

The Aldih Coal Company, registered 
in 1901, with an ordinary capital of. 
Rs. 800,000, divided into 8,000 shares of 
Rs. 100, and debentures amounting to 
Rs. 3,27,000, are owners of the Aldih and 
Bhutguria collieries, consisting of 1,530 
and 1,000 biggahs respectively, which 
are situated in the Raneegunge and 
Jherria fields. The coal at Aldih is of 
first-class quality, known as " Disher- 
garh," and it is worked from two pits 
— 570 feet in depth — from a seam which 
is 14 feet in thickness. A royalty of 
7 annas a ton is paid on all steam coal, 
coke, and rubble, and the total annual 
gross yield of 100,000 tons is obtained 
by 710 hands. There are no fewer than 
790 male and female workpeople em- 
ployed in the Bhutguria colliery, which 
produces about 100,000 tons of best coal 
yearly. No. 17 seam, measuring 7 feet 
6 inches, is found in two pits, which are 
226 feet in depth, and the annual rent is 
Rs. 7,702. An amount equivalent to an 
average of l i per cent, per annum on 
ordinary capital has been paid in 
dividends since the year 1904. 

The Hurriladih Coal Company was 
formed in 1901 with the object of 
acquiring coal-bearing properties in the 
Raneegunge and Jherria fields, and even- 
tually they obtained the Ackalpore and 
Kenwadi collieries, comprising 2,430 and 

1,322 biggahs respectively. The seams 
in the two mines vary in thickness from 
4 feet 8 inches to 14 feet, and best first- 
class coal is obtained from six pits, which 
run from 209 feet to 240 feet in depth. 
These pits have an annual output of about 
190,000 tons, and some 1,053 male and 
female hands are required constantly. 

The ordinary capital of the company 
is Rs. 800,000, divided into 8,000 shares 
of Rs. 100, while the debentures amount 
to Rs. 375,000. Interest on ordinary 
capital has averaged 3! per cent, per 
annum during the past ten years. 

There is no debit for royalty at Ackal- 
pore, but the yearly rent is Rs. 18,750; 
while at Kenwadih the rent is Rs. 2,615, 
in respect of a plot of 300 bigahs, plus 
a royalty of 4 annas a ton on all steam 
coal, coke, and rubble in respect of 
raisings from the 1,022 biggahs plot. 

The authorized capital in the Mundul- 
poor Company is Rs. 850,000, represent- 
ing 3,700 fully paid shares of Rs. 100, 
together with 8,000 shares of Rs. 100, 
of which Rs. 60 have been called up. 
There are four pits on this property, 
which are from 113 feet to 240 feet in 
depth, and a 6-foot bed of coal of first- 
class quality is already returning some 
50,000 tons a year, although the mine has 
only been partially developed. The 
property comprises 2,430 biggahs, and 
some difficulty has been experienced 
owing to an unusually large quantity of 
water having been met with in the work- 
ings. About 320 hands are employed 
at present, but this number is being 
increased in proportion to the progress 
made in the further opening of the mine. 
Royalties are levied as follows : 6 annas 
on steam coal, 8 annas on coke, 3 annas 
on rubble, and i| anna on dust. 


There is abun^lant evidence that the 
mica-mining industry in India is now 
being conducted under more scientific 
conditions than has ever been the case 
in the past. This is especially notice- 
able with regard to the use of both hand 
and power machinery and the systematic 
work of development being carried on 
by Messrs. Tata, Sons & Co. 

This firm are owners of an estate of 
2,500 acres at Kodarma, in the Province 
of Beliar and Orissa, which province pro- 
duces about 70 per cent, of the whole 
of the mica output from India. 

The property comprises some twenty 
mines of importance as well as innumer- 
able prospect workings. A description 

of one of the mines will suffice for these 
notes, as all now working are being de- 
veloped on similar lines, subject, of 
course, to such modifications as the par- 
ticular conditions of each may require. 

The Thorna Mine is included in an 
area of about 160 acres, and comprises 
one main outcrop, having a strike of some 
2,500 ft. by varying thicknesses up to 
50 ft. There is also a second and parallel 
strike, rather less well defined. The main 
strike is being worked by a system of 
shafts, cross-cuts, and levels, blocking out 
large stoppages for future work. There 
are four shafts, the deepest being about 
200 ft., and one main itKline of 250 ft. 
The total amount of underground sinking 
and driving already aggregates 1,000 ft., 
and it is anticipated that this number 
will be very greatly increased in the near 

As the steam power on this mine is 
28 h.p., the principal prime movers being 
a large hauling engine, two small winches, 
and three pumping sets, there is, of 
course, no longer any question of per- 
mitting the productive mines to be flooded 
during the rainy season. Dynamite is 
used exclusively for blasting in the mine. 

The rough mica crystals won are 
brought to the surface every morning and 
evening, and there split into sheets of 
about one-eighth of an inch in thickness 
and made up into bundles of 30 to 40 lb. 
in weight. These bundles are carried, 
under the charge of an armed guait>d, 
into the central godown at Kodarma, 
where the rough mica is further split into 
a convenient thinness for trimming, and 
this process is carried out by mica- 
cutters using sickles. The slab mica thus 
prepared is sorted and graded according 
to the standard sizes and qualities recog- 
nized by the industry, the smaller grades 
being sent on to the splitting factories. 

The splitting of the small sizes into 
untorn films of uniform and excessive 
thinness is a process which demands the 
closest and most careful supervision, and 
Messrs. Tata, Sons & Co.'s " Pan " films 
are, perhaps, the finest of all manufac- 
tured ones. 

Some 1,200 hands, engaged on piece- 
work and daily pay, are employed con- 
stantly on the mines, godowns, and 
splitting factories. 

The staff consists of six Babus, five 
mistris and classis, and several Nepalese 
guards, while the general manager is Mr. 
J. F. Podger, Assoc.Inst.M.M., who is 
ably assisted by his brother, Mr. R. O. 

I. ROCGH Mica frou Thorna Uixe. 

2. CuTTixG Rough Mica 3. Makixg Pax Si'Lhtixgs. 

4. LoAuiXG Carts i-or Shipment. 


i. headm-arters, buxgalow, and godow.vs. 2. no. i shaft, thorna .mlxe. 

4. Hauling-gear, Main Ixci.ine, Thorxa Mixh, 

3. \'o. 2 Shaft,!n'a Mink. 




Startling proposals have always been 
received with great reticence — such is the 
natural conservatism of the human race - 
and there has been no revolution in 
modern days in India which has had a 
greater eflfect upon the commercial world 
than that which has taken place since iron 
and steel became such important factors 
in the civilization of every-day life. The 
number of industries in this country in 
which these two substances are required 
in some shape or form is increasing at a 
very rapid rate, and one has only to notice 
the huge foundries, working at full speed, 
to understand that capitalists are taking 
their full share in the activities which are 
everywhere apparent. 

An industry destined to become world- 
wide in importance is that recently started 
by the Tata Iron and Steel Company, 
Ltd., at Sakchi, near Kalimati station, 
on the Bengal-Nagpur railway system, 
about a hundred and fifty miles distant 
from Calcutta. The land selected for 

the site of the works is about twenty- 
three and a half square miles in extent, and 
in addition to the enormous shops and 
sheds which have been erected, the com- 
pany have provided bungalows for 
officials, cottages for workmen, coolie 
lines, business offices, club and reading- 
rooms, schools, and a hospital with wards 
and dispensary. 

There were five determining factors 
which the originators of the company set 
themselves to solve, namely: ( i) supply of 
ore; (2) supply of coal; (3) supply of 
labour; (4) markets; and (5) means of 

A number of very valuable and large 
deposits of iron ore have been found in 
the Mourbhanj State of Orissa, and as it 
was highly desirable that the company 
should not be dependent upon a fluctuat- 
ing market for its fuel, about 4,600 acres 
of coal-producing land were obtained in 
the heart of the famous Jherria field. A 
further area of about 800 acres in the 
Raneegunge field has been acquired more 
recently. Limestone and dolomite quar- 

ries, and manganese mines have also been 
secured, and it is not too much to say that 
nearly all necessary raw materials are 
now derived from the properties of the 

The immense buildings include foun- 
dries; machine and other shops; all of 
which are equipped with an enormous 
plant comprising {inter alia) coke ovens; 
blast furnaces; steel plant; heating pits; 
rail, blooming, and bar mills; electrical 
machinery; hydraulic, condensing, and 
filtering services; power house; the 
mechanical department, and many others. 

The capital of the company is 
Rs. 2,3 1, ~5, 000, and the directors are 
the following well-known public men: 
Sir D. J. Tata, Kt., special director; Sir 
Sassoon David, Bart., chairman; .Sir 
Cowasjce Jehangir, Bart., Sir Vithaldas 
Damodar Thackersey, Kt., Mr. Gor- 
handas Khattau, the Hon. Sir Fazulbhoy 
Currimbhoy, Kt., Mr. Narotium Morajee 
Goculdas, Mr. M. A. Tata, Mr. C. V. 
Mehta. Sir Shapurji B, Broacha, Kt., Mr. 
Ratan Tata, and Mr. .\. J. Bilimoria. 



i i ■ ^ . 

j } 

1 * 

V^^J JJL^^^flH^flKjy 


r 7i^^^ 

-^■jI^^J:' .':. 

r.^.^ \s„ ,s ■'^:^"-; 

':i\^'\.. ■ 


Illustration from " Oriental Scenery," by Thomas Daniell (1793). 




riwto by M. Sain. Ilarjff/ifl^. 

HEN that portion of 
the Province of Ben- 
gal now known as 
the district of Dar- 
jeeling was addeJ,in 
the early years of the 
nineteenth century, 
to the area then 
under British supremacy, an epoch was 
reached which virtually completed the 
history of the establishment of the British 
Empire in India, which may be said to 
have commenced with the defeat by 
Clive of Suraj-ud-Dowlah, the Navvab of 
Bengal, at the battle of Plassey in the 
year 1757. Darjeeling, as it then was, 
had the native State of Sikkim on its 
northern boundary, and the warlike 
Gurkhas had filched from the Raja of that 
State the Morang tarai, or level land of 
the district of Darjeeling as it is now 
constituted. A number of wars followed 
in 1814-16, and on the conclusion of hos- 
tilities a treaty was signed in which there 
was a clause to the effect that the strip 
of territory so appropriated should be 
given up to the British, who forthwith 
returned it to its former owner. In 1835, 
during the Governor-Generalship of Lord 


William Bentinck, the altitude and the 
bracing air of Darjeeling was recognized, 
and it is recorded that in the same year 
" the sanatorium of Darjeeling, with some 
of the surrounding hills — a territory com- 
prising about 140 square miles — was pur- 
chased from the Raja of British Sikkim 
in consideration of an allowance of 
Rs. 3,000, which was afterwards increased 
to Rs. 12,000 per annum." 

Possessing a remarkably pure atmo- 
sphere, and a climate calculated by its 
normally cool temperature to. put new 
vigour into persons of indifferent health, 
it is not surprising that Darjeeling be- 
came a recuperating station for European 
troops, and, shortly afterwards, a summer 
residence of the Government of Bengal 
and its principal officials. 

In 1849 Sir Joseph Hooker and Dr. 
Campbell (Superintendent of the Dar- 
jeeling district), with the approval of the 
British Government and the permission 
of the Raja, paid a visit to the State of 
Sikkim on a purely private and peaceful 
mission, but they were treacherously 
seized and imprisoned with the full know- 
ledge, if not actually at the instigation of, 
the Raja himself. 


As such an insult could not be allowed 
to be overlooked, a military expedition 
was sent to rescue the prisoners and to 
teach the Raja a much-needed lesson, and 
the result was that the chief's yearly 
allowance was discontinued, that the 
Sikkim tarai at the foot of the hills was 
annexed, and that British territory was 
also extended to mountainous regions in 
other directions. This newly acquired 
land comprised about 640 square miles, 
and in 1866 about 480 square miles of 
hilly country, which had been obtained 
from Bhutan in the previous year, were 
also added ; and thus the district of Dar- 
jeeling, as it is known to-day, was finally 

It forms the northern portion of the 
division of Rajshahi in Bengal; it is 
bounded on the east by Bhutan, the inde- 
pendent Hindu State of Nepal lies on the 
western side, and the State of Sikkim is 
on the north. 

The district, which has an area of about 
1,230 square miles, has two distinct 
natural divisions — namely, the deep 
valleys and ridges of the Lower Hima- 
layas and the level country at their base. 
The ridges rise abruptly from the plains 


to heights varying from 6,000 feet to 
10,000 feet above sea-level, and the 
majority of them are clothed \yith dense 
forests even to their summits. 

The scenery in this neighbourhood is so 
magnificent that it must be seen to be 
appreciated, as a mere description must 
fail to give an adequate idea of its extreme 
beauty. A writer in the " Encyclopaedia 
of India" (igo8) says: "A spectator 
in Darjeeling town stands on the stage 
of a vast amphitheatre of mountains, which 
in the springtime form a continuous snowy 
barrier e.\tending over 150 degrees of the 
horizon, from Gipmochi on his right hand 
to Sandakhphu on the left. The sides 
of the amphitheatre are formed by the 
Singalila chain, 20 miles to the west, and 
by the loftier Chola range, 40 miles to 
the east. In front of him, at a distance 
of 45 miles, the great twin peaks of 
Kinchin] unga, in the Himalaya range 
(28,146 feet), tower above the titanic 
group of snow-clad mountains which fill 
the northern horizon. The rising sun 
sheds a golden radiance on the eastern 
slopes, which turn to dazzling whiteness 
as the day wears on. At evening the 
western flanks catch all the rosy glow of 
sunset, and as the sun sinks behind the 
hills the crimson hue fades away, only 
to reappear in a delicate afterglow. At 
last even this disappears, but if the moon 
be near the full its light streams down 
tipon the snows, outlining their contours 
with an awesome purity." 

In the far distance one sees the back- 
bone of the lofty Himalayas, while the 
Singalila range marks the boundary-line 
between the States of Nepal and Sikkini, 
and also between the district of Dar- 
jeeling and Nepal. The highest peaks 
of the Singalila range are : Senchal, 
8,163 feet; langlu, 10,074 feet; Phalut, 
11,811 feet; Sabargam, 11,636 feet; and 
Sandakphu, 11,930 feet. 

The Himalayan range, however, may be 
said to comprise three distinct portions — 
namely, the vast range of snow-clad 
peaks the principal of which are Kinchin- 
junga and Mount Everest- (28,994 feet); 
secondly, the lower Himalayas ; and 
thirdly, the sub-Himalayan zone, which 
consists of ridges separated from the last- 
named region by fertile valleys. 

The Darjeeling district belongs to the 
area of the lower Himalayas, and it is 
rendered conspicuous by the number of 
ranges which extend from north to south, 
the town of Darjeeling itself being 
situated at an altitude of 7,346 feet above 
the level of the sea. 

Reserved forests include those portions 
of the mountains which are more than 
0,000 feet in height, and of valleys below 
3,000 feet ; while the intervening area 
lying to the east of the Tcesta River is 
set apart chiefly for cultivation by natives, 
and the greater portion on the western 
side of the river is devoted to the produc- 
tion of tea. 

Mountain slopes, wliich are yet untilled, 
arc covered with tropical forest treeS; 


3,000 feet and 11,000 feet; leopards are 
still fairly common at all altitudes; and 
goats and antelopes, although somewhat 
rare, are seen in rocky fastnesses above 
10,000 feet. 

Government authorities divide the dis- 
trict of Darjeeling, for agricultural 
purposes, into three separate units — 
namely, (i) the mountains to the west 
of the Teesta River, (2) the Kalimpong 
area, and (3) the tarai. The staple in- 

owing to its particularly fine flavour. The 
yield in this mountainous country may 
not be as great as in the plains, but the 
superior quality and better values more 
than counterbalance any deficiency in 
quantity. It may be mentioned that the 
majority of the gardens in this district 
are financed by British capital and are 
owned or managed by Englishmen. 

Planters have recognized the necessity 
for the use of prime selected seed, and 


I'hcio hy Uimalitymt Art Slmlio. 


Photo bv M. S.M/1. 


I'ltolJ by //iHi.i/.mni Art Stiuiio. 


while the undergrowth on the ridges, up 
to an elevation of some 2,000 feet, is 
very dense and luxuriant with choice 
ferns, the most delicately formed orchids, 
and mosses of every variety. 

The lover of nature in its multitudinous 
aspects, however, will take pleasure in 
observing many types of beasts and birds, 
whose peaceful abode — until ruthlessly 
disturbed by wood-cutter or hunter — is in 
the jungly lairs or thickly leafed branches 
of this primeval forest. Elephants, tigers, 
wild hog, and several species of deer may 
be found on comparatively low land; 
bears are met with anywhere between 

dustry is the growing and manufacture of 
tea, in which the proprietors of about 80 
estates or gardens are concerned. The 
introduction of this plant into Darjeeling 
was due to the Government of Bengal, 
who were induced to obtain samples of 
seed from China for distribution among 
suitable persons in the district who were 
willing to experiment with them. The 
results of these trials were highly satis- 
factory, and in the year 1856 the first 
tea gardens were established at Alubari, 
Pandam, and Steinthal. The industry has 
progressed at a very rapid rate, and Dar- 
jeeling tea now commands high prices 


their eff'orts to obtain that standard have 
been warmly supported by the Govern- 
ment of Bengal, who have on various 
occasions imported fresh supplies for 

Rice, maize (chiefly of American kinds), 
wheat, and other cereals are grown on 
suitable land, and fruits of choice varieties 
are to be seen in a large number of well- 
managed orchards. 

Reserved forests, to the extent of about 
400 square miles, are controlled by the 
Forest Department of the Government, 
and are under the supervision of a Deputy 
Commissioner. This district is noted for 


the great variety of its trees, but the prin- 
cipal kinds are chestnut, silver fir, maple, 
magnolia, oak, birch, alder, and laurel. 

General commercial trading is carried 
on to a large extent with many places, 
but the major portion of the transactions 
are with Calcutta merchants, the principal 
exports comprising tea, jute, and gunny- 
bags, while imports include Manchester 
piece goods, kerosene oil, and salt. 

There is a plentiful supply of good 

Station, Calcutta, to Siliguri, its northern 
terminus. On arrival of the train at the 
latter station all comfort is at an end, as 
the northern passengers then travel by 
the 2-ft. gauge line of the Darjeeling- 
Himalayan Railway Company. The 
ruling gradient of the greater part of this 
line is about l in 25, from Sukhna to- 
Ghum (the highest point on this section), 
and thence to Darjeeling there is a length 
of about three-quarters of a mile on 

the journey, but in places where the ascent 
is at the sharpest gradient, engineering 
difficulties have been overcome by causing 
the permanent way to curve round 
mountain-sides in a most curious fashion. 
The keenest enjoyment is experienced 
as the higher regions are approached, 
and the stifling atmosphere of the plains, 
where the thermometer shows a tempera- 
ture ranging from 85° to 95° Fahr., is 
succeeded by an exhilarating air which 


Plwla hy M. Sitill. Pholo In- Vnuilcrta-.cni. 


PJu\'^ by .U. 

labourers, and it is satisfactory to learn 
that these men are apt pupils in becoming 
acquainted with the intricate parts of the 
modern machinery and plant in tea and 
other factories. 

Particular reference must now be made, 
however, to the town and neighbourhood 
of Darjeeling, as it is from that vantage- 
ground that one can behold the glories 
of the Himalayas, the richly clad slopes 
of the lower ranges, and the fertility of 
the cultivated land below. 

On another page of this volume a 
description is given of the luxurious mail 
train which is run daily by the Eastern 
Bengal Railway Company from Sealdah 

grades of i in 22j to i in 23. Construc- 
tion was commenced by Mr. Franklin 
Prestage in the year 1880, and the whole 
work to Darjeeling bazar was completed 
five years later. 

Prior to the opening of this line, Dar- 
jeeling was practically inaccessible to 
tourists from Calcutta unless they had 
time and money to spare for a tedious 
journey, first by rail on the East Indian 
section to Sahebgunge, and thence by 
steam ferry and bullock cart, and the trip, 
which then occupied five or six days, can 
now be made in about twenty hours. 

After the first half-dozen miles there 
is a steep gradient for the remainder of 

is at least 20° or 30° lower. It may be 
observed here that the mean temperature 
in Darjeeling during the cold and warm 
nvonths is 41° and 60° respectively. 

Views of striking beauty are continually 
being presented as the ascent is made, the 
huge mountain peaks in the distance 
vividly contrasting with the plains down 
below, which stretch away to the far-off 

The name Darjeeling signifies " the 
place of the dorje," or the mystic 
thunderbolt of the Lamaist religion. The 
town, with the cantonments of Darjeeling 
and Leebong (which was constituted a 
municipality in the year 1850), had 

a population of nearly i 7,000 inhabitants 
at the census of 191 1. It is situated upon 
a long ridge, upon which the major por- 


abouts of intervening space are apparently 
reduced to a minimum owing to the 
remarkal)ly clear atmosphere. 


I'hchi ^v .1/. .Srtd,. 

tion of the residences of Europeans arc 
constructed on terraces one above another, 
and the highest and lowest points within 
the municipal area are respectively 6,000 
to 7,800 feet above sea-level. 

Darjecling is not a trading centre in 
the ordinary sense of the term, as its com- 
mercial activities are practically restricted 
to supplying the requirements of the tea- 
planters, and of the crowds of European 
inhabitants and visitors of the summer 

The month of .^pril in each year is 
marked by the exodus of H.E. the 
Governor of Bengal, of Government 
ofHcials, and lof a great many of Calcutta's 
influential citizens who are in the fortu- 
nate position of being able to turn their 
backs upon the torrid heat of streets in 
that busy port, and literally to revel in the 
enjoyment of a deliciously cool atmo- 
sphere and of some of the sublimest pano- 
ramic views in the world. It is not, of 
course, possible at all times of the year for 
the snowy summits of the giant Himalayas 
to be seen, as they are frequently entirely 
or partly obscured by mists ; but the 
months in which visitors are most likely 
to have their desires gratified are Novem- 
ber, December, and January. It is then 
that the mountains stand out clearly on 
the skyline, and the fifty miles or therc- 

'Numerous writers have made attempts 
to give descriptions of the glorious beauty 

The Himalayas present a variety of 
scenery according to the locality from 
which it is viewed. One may take an 
easy walk to Observatory Hill, from 
which a remarkably fine picture of the 
everlasting snows is obtained on a favour- 
able day; but the scene presented to 
the sightseer on this hill by the rays of 
the rising or setting sun touching the 
glistening peaks with colourings both deli- 
cate and rare is so gorgeous that the most 
artistic efTects of the painter's brush 
would sink into insignificance in com- 
parison with the original. 

Senchal, seven miles in a south-easterly 
direction from Darjeeling, is another 
favourite resort for tourists ; but Tiger 
Hill (about 8,500 feet in height), if visited 
just before daybreak on a clear morning, 
probably affords the finest picture in a 
kaleidoscope of ever-changing beauties. 

A word or two may be added here 
about Observatory Hill, which has been 
a sacred place for ages because of the 
presence of Mahapal Baba, who is wor- 
shipped by Buddhists and Hindus as a 
divine manifestation, and because its sum- 
mit was once the site of one of their 
monasteries, which was destroyed by 
Gurkhas many centuries ago. 

Visitors to this spot can scarcely be 
expected to obtain full enjoyment of the 


I'hoi'i by 

of this enchanting scene, but all have 
failed to give an adequate representation 
of it. 



M. Stini. 

glorious surrounding scenery, as pious 
pilgrims engage in chanting, the ringing 
of bells, and in worshipping at a shrine 


enclosed by vertical poles, to which are 
attached flags that are believed to waft 
away to the gods the many prayers of the 

Several hundred feet below the summit 
of this hill is a monastery which contains 
a large number of idols, a library of 
sacred books, and mural paintings which 
certainly do not represent subjects 
calculated to uplift the thoughts of 

These places of interest arc given 
merely as samples of the many show- 
places in the neighbourhood of Dar- 
jeeling, to which one may drive or walk 
in the certainty that entirely new effects 
may be witnessed daily owing to the 
varying conditions of sun and atmo- 

The town not only contains the summer 
residence of H.E. the Governor of Bengal 
and the official quarters of heads of 
Departments, but it can boast of a number 
of excellent hotels, boarding-houses, 
private houses, a club, and several fine 
churches and schools, together with 
barracks at Kalapahar, Jalpahai, and 

St. Paul's School — founded in Calcutta 
in 1864 and shortly afterwards removed 
to Darjceling — is built on an eminence 


I'lio'o hy Hi.n.iJ.mi.l Arl UlinliJ, 

whence enchanting views are obtained, 
and Sir Joseph Hooker, referring to the 
site, said : " It is one quite unparalleled 

for the scenery it embraces, commanding 
tlic confessedly grandest known landscape 
of snowy mountains in the Himalayas, and 
hence in the world." 

The club stands in an advantageous 
position in the town, and contains a large 
number of apartments for members, 
including reading, writing, smoking, and 
billiard-rooms, together with o.\tcnsi\e 
stabling and motor garage. The Dar- 
jceling Club, Ltd., was formed in igo8, 
but it was originally known as the 
Planters' Club. 

The Secretariat is a fine three-storied 
building constructed of gneiss, locally 
obtained, and it contains the offices of 
the Chief Secretary to the Government, 
the Under-Secretary for the Political and 
Appointment Departments, and the Secre- 
taries for Revenue; while other structures 
comprise the Imperial General Hospital, 
the Municipal offices, St. Andrew's 
Church, St. Paul's and other schools. 

The only other places of any im- 
portance in the district are Kurseong, 
Kalimpong, and Tindharia. 

Kurseong has in recent years come into 
some prominence as a growing hill 


l>!wlo f'V Hinmhiyiin Art Slii ho. rhotc by M. Sain 


rhotc I'v M Sain. 

station and sanitorium, and it is preferred 
by many visitors to whom a comparatively 
mild climate, consequent upon an altitude 
ol only 4,860 feet above sea-level, is 
more beneficial than the higher elevation 
and keener atmosphere of Darjeeling. 
The town is the headquarters of a sub- 
division in the terai, and was constituted 
a municipality in the year 1879. 

It possesses a club, the usual public 
offices, a Jesuits' Training College, and 


workshops of the Darjceling-Himalayan 
Railway Company are situated at Tin- 
dharia. Shareholders in this company are 
receiving very satisfactory dividends upon 
their capital, but this is not surprising 
when the excessive passenger fares and 
freights are taken into consideration. 

The line is undoubtedly all that it 
should be from an investor's point of view, 
but it is very far from being a real 
benefactor to the tea and other industries. 

century ago. The present proprietor 
devotes very great personal attention to 
the management of the estate ; up-to- 
date methods of cultivation are practised ; 
all vacancies are filled by vigorous and 
healthy young plants ; and thus it hap- 
pens that the yield of tea on this estate 
is noted particularly for its delicacy of 

Quality and not quantity is the point 
kept in view by the owner, but the returns 


photo by Hhn.ilityitn Art Studio. 

good schools for both boys and girls. 
Kurscong has a station on the Darjeeling- 
Himalayan Railway, from which large 
quantities of tea are forwarded annually, 
and it is about twenty miles distant in a 
southerly direction from Darjeeling. 

Kalimpong is a thriving village situated 
in a very healthy portion of the district, 
and is noted chiefly on account of a large 
annual fair at which consignments of agri- 
cultural produce and live stock are ex- 
changed for English poultry and selected 
seeds of cereals. It is, further, the 
recognized market for the sale of Tibetan 
wool, and its agricultural show is second 
to none in importance in Bengal. The 



This estate of 400 acres, situated at 
an altitude of between 5,000 and 6,000 ft., 
and about one mile distant from Darjeel- 
ing, is one of the most attractive proper- 
ties even in that wonderfully beautiful 
district, where the everlasting snows 
glistening in the sunlight on the summit 
of the mountains form such a magnificent 
contrast to the sombre yet variegated 
shades of the well-wooded slopes of the 
surrounding hills. Rungneet was ac- 
quired by the owner. Captain J. Oswald 
Little, in the year 1910, but the 190 acres 
of tea were then in full bearing, the first 
tea having been planted nearly half a 


during an average season are about 
3] maunds to the acre. The factory con- 
tains the usual plant required in connec- 
tion with the manufacture of tea, such 
as the machinery for rolling, sifting, and 
packing, together with a down-draught 
sirocco drier. 

.\ water-power turbine is used for 
motive purposes, but as additional power 
is required during the season of heaviest 
work a steam engine has been fixed to 
meet such a contingency. 

The " made " tea is packed in chests 
of various sizes on the premises, and the 
latter are consigned, principally in re- 
sponse to private orders, to many hotels. 

I, lifXf.AlOW, 

2 VIEW ov Tea Garden 3. coolies Pi.ichixo Tea. 

4. KACKiRV. 



2, M.\I.T-H01SK. 3. BOTTUXO PUNT. 

4. Genekai. View ok liKKUERY. 



clubs, and regimental messes in India, 
as well as to customers in England and 
other parts of the world. 

Captain Little occupies a charming 
bungalow, surrounded by terraced 
gardens containing the choicest English 
flowers and vegetables, and his residence 
is fitted with electric light and has tele- 
phonic communication with the town of 
Darjeeling. He takes a very keen in- 
terest in local affairs, and at the time of 
writing he has just been called upon, in 
view of his previous experience as a 
cavalry officer, to assume the Adjutancy 
of the North Bengal Mounted Rifles. 

About two hundred coolies are gener- 
ally employed on the garden, although 
in busy times this number may be 

The Calcutta agents of the estate are 
Messrs. Gillanders, Arbuthnot & Co., of 
Clive Street. 



This brewery was erected in the year 
1885 by the well-known firm of Messrs. 
Meakin & Co., but it was acquired in 
1914 by Mr. H. J. Craddock, who pur- 
chased it as a going concern. It is 
situated at Sonada, near Darjeeling, and 
consists chiefly of a three-storied build- 
ing of a pretentious character, together 
with brew-house, malting stores, bottling 
shed, warehouses, and offices standing 
upon two acres of freehold land, although 

the total extent of the land is rather more 
than I" acres. 

The first essential for the making of 
good beer is an abundance of pure water, 
and in this respect Mr. Craddock is 
fortunate in having an excellent supply 
from the hills in the neighbourhood of 
the brewery. The second point of im- 
portance is the absolute necessity for both 
barley and hops to be of undoubted 
quality, and here again the " Victoria " 
is in an advantageous position, as it 
obtains its grain from the district of 
Rewari, near Delhi (a corn centre un- 
surpassed in India), while the hops are 
from the best English and Pacific 

Mr. Craddock had practical experience 
in five English breweries before he arrived 
in India in 1893, and he is now carrying 
on his Sonada business according to 
methods prevailing in the Old Country. 
The brewery premises contain a modern 
Pasteurizing plant, which enables the pro- 
prietor to ensure absolute purity, and 
analyses made from time to time by the 
Excise authorites show that both beer and 
stout are entirely free from arsenic or 
other deleterious ingredient. The prin- 
cipal brewings comprise pale ale, XX ale, 
XXX ale, and XXX stout ; and the 
owner's godowns at Sonada are able to 
accommodate five hundred hogsheads. 

The machinery is driven by an 8-h.p. 
steam engine, and about thirty-two hands 
are constantly employed in the brewery, 
cooperage, bottling, and other sheds. 

Mr. Craddock has a large sale for beer 
and stout in local regimental and other 
messes, and consignments are also sent 
to all parts of Bengal and Assam, and 
even to certain places in Southern India. 


Several photographs bearing upon the 
literary matter in this volume have been 
obtained from the studio of Mr. M. Sain, 
of 22 Mackenzie Street, Darjeeling, and 
he has kindly allowed them to be repro- 
duced here. 

Mr. Sain was formerly connected in 
business with Mr. Thomas Paar, a well- 
known photographic artist at Darjeeling, 
but for the past two years he has been 
employed on his own account entirely. 
That he has been very successful in his 
studies of Nature and art is evidenced 
by the high-class character of the brush 
and camera productions which have had 
their birth in his studio, and he has reason 
to be proud of the fact that he has been 
awarded medals and certificates at various 
Arts Exhibitions in India on account of 
their excellence. 

Mr. Sain's studio at the present time 
contains paintings and photographs of 
the exquisitely beautiful scenery of the 
district and town of Darjeeling, and of 
the grand Himalaya Mountains, with the 
vegetation of their lower slopes, and it 
is certain that a visit to it will mean 
a morning well spent. 


Pliifto by Hhiialayan Art SttitH^. 



From Panorama of Old City of Dacca, published about 1847. 


HE chief indigo dis- 
tricts in Behar lie to 
the north of the Gan- 
ges River, and com- 
prise Muzaffarpur, 
Durbhanga, Cham-; 
parun, and Chupra. 
Indigo is also culti- 
vated in tlie districts, on the south of 
the river, Purneah, Monghyr, and Bhagal- 
pur, but only to a very small extent as 
compared with the northern area. The 
first record of indigo being grown by 
Europeans in Behar is dated about 1778. 
The chief pioneer of the industry appears 
to have been a Mr. Alexander Noel 
(afterwards Noel & Co.); and it is also 
on record that Mr. Grand, a servant of 
the East India Company, whose widow 
subsequently married Talleyrand, was 
interested in indigo in Behar. The first 
European factories to be built were chiefly 
in the district now called Muzaffarpur, 
and among the oldest ones were Contai, 
dating back to 1778, Dooria 1780, and 
Singhia 1791. The last-named was per- 
haps the first concern in the Province to 
be owned by a European, as it appears to 
have originated as a saltpetre factory of 
the Dutch East India Company. It seems 
to be clear that there were about 12 
European indigo concerns in existence in 
the Muzaffarpur district towards the end 
of the eighteenth century, while in Dur- 
bhanga, Champarun, and Chupra the first 
factories were not erected before the 
beginning of the nineteenth century. A 

By D. J. KEID. 

very good criterion of the age of an indigo 
factory is in the size of the manager's 
bungalow, all the older factories having 
huge residences generally built on the 
most elementary arcliitectural lines, giving 
the maximum of space with the minimum 
of accommodation or comfort. It is very 
evident that when these bungalows were 
built bricks and mortar were cheap. 
Throughout the nineteenth century the 
concerns in Behar steadily increased, and 
in 1896, the year preceding the advent 
of synthetic indigo, there were about 112 
working, with a total output of about 
80,000 maunds in a good season. In 
1845, however, several large indigo con- 
cerns appear to have abandoned this plant 
in favour of sugar-cane, but the experi- 
ment did not last long, as in 1850 these 
concerns again reverted to indigo. 

During the first part of the nineteenth 
century indigo was a most popular crop 
with the cultivator, and one of the greatest 
punishments possible was for an indigo 
factory to refuse to allow a cultivator to 
grow indigo for the factory. The reason 
for this may probably be found in the 
fact that in those early days money was 
scarce, and indigo was one of the few 
crops which could be turned into ready 

That the industry has been a real boon, 
especially to the landlord, in Behar is 
undeniable, as it brought a large flow of 
outside capital into the Province, and 
many a landowner has been saved from 
beggary, due to the ruinous practices of 

the mahajans, by the timely advances of 
large sums of money at reasonable interest 
from a neighbouring indigo concern. 

.An indigo concern consists of a number 
of factories grouped under the supervision 
of one manager, with usually a European 
assistant at each factory, or outwork, as 
it is termed. Some concerns consist of 
as many as seven or eight outworks, but 
the average is about three or four. 

This system of grouping a number of 
factories under one manager is economical 
in working, but it has its limitations, and 
it is doubtful whether a single manager 
can efficiently supervise more than three 
or four. The concerns in Behar are 
privately owned, and the shares in these 
companies are calculated on the anna 
system, which means that a concern con- 
sists of sixteen " One Anna Shares," 
which are sometimes subdivided into 
" Pie Shares." 

Indigo is cultivated under, two systems, 
one of which is by direct cultivation of 
land held by the factory and known by 
the vernacular name of Zcrat, while the 
other is called Assamiwar, and under it 
the tenants contract to sow a certain area 
of their holdings in indigo, and the 
factory contracts to pay a fixed price per 
acre irrespective of the condition of the 
crop. A modification of the Assamiwar 
system is known as khuski, whereby the 
cultivator contracts to sow a certain area 
with indigo, and to sell the green plants 
from this area at a fixed price per maund 
to the factory. Theoretically this system 


is the best, but in practice it is found 
that, owing to the very large number of 
small plots dealt with, it is impossible 
to gi%'e proper supervision and to check 
the weights of green plant. 

Only a small proportion of the lands 
cultivated are directly owned by indigo 
factories in Bchar. One of the reasons for 
this may perhaps be traced to the fact 
that in the old days, under the East India 
Company, it was not lawful for a Euro- 
pean to be the direct owner of land in that 
Province. The remainder of the lands 
are held under several forms of tenure, 
the most common being an ordinary lease 
granted by local Indian landlords for a 
stated number of years. 

Indigo factories can, however, under the 
Bengal Tenancy Act, acquire occupany 
rights over certain lands, and a consider- 
able area is held under this form of 
tenure. There is also a form of lease 
known in the vernacular as makurry, 
which is a lease in perpetuity and cannot 
under any circumstances be broken, 
although the holder can be sold up for 
default of rent. This document is very 
common in Behar, especially in the Cham- 
parun district, where many concerns hold 
large areas from the Bettiah Raj under 
this tenure. It is also a common practice 
for factories to acquire possession of lands 
by advancing moneys on mortgage. 

Up to the end of the nineteenth century 
the only variety of indigo cultivated in 
Behar was Iniigofera sumatrana. which 
was introduced into the Province some 
150 years ago. 

The cultivation and preparation of the 
lands for sowing are conducted from 
October to the end of February, the lands 
being hoed and cross-ploughed many 
times, all clods being thoroughly pul- 
verized. In March the indigo is sown, 
and it is ready for manufacture by the end 
of June or the beginning of July. Two 
cuttings are generally obtained from the 
plant, and these are taken from July to 
the end of September, the yield of finished 
indigo being greatly affected by the 
character of the monsoon, a heavy mon- 
soon being unfavourable to the production 
of indigotin, and also to the growth of 
the second cuttings. The heaviest yield 
is obtained from the first cuttings, and 
in good years, when the monsoon is light, 
50 per cent, of the amount obtained from 
the first yield may be expected from the 
second cuttings, but in unfavourable years 
of heavy rainfall the latter are often a 
complete failure. The seed of Indigofera 
sumatrana used in Behar has always been 

obtained from the United Provinces, the 
best kind coming from the districts in the 
neighbourhood of Cawnpore, the reason 
for this being that although the indigo 
plant can be grown to produce seed in 
Behar, yet the germination of such seed 
is always defective owing to a hard outer 
coating, and it was found that seed grown 
on the irrigated lands of the United 
Provinces is free from this objection. 

In 1904 a new variety of indigo was 
introduced from Java, known as Indigo- 
fera arrecta. This type came originally 
from Natal, and is really an improved 
variety of the wild indigo of that country; 
but owing. to the difficulty in obtaining 
seed its cultivation was extended rather 
slowly, and it was not until 1906 or 1907 
that it was grown to any extent in Behar. 
The superiority of the Natal over the 
Sumatrana type was very marked when 
first introduced, and in many instances 
yields of 100 per cent, greater than those 
of the older variety were obtained; but 
it was unfortunate that, in common with 
many newly imported varieties, the plant 
was attacked by disease. The most disas- 
trous effect of this is the restriction of 
seed production, and although the plant 
was at first found to seed freely in Behar, 
the supply subsequently decreased so 
enormously that in latter years it became 
unobtainable in any quantity, and many 
concerns had to revert to the old 
Sumatrana variety. This problem, how- 
ever, is now being investigated by Mr. 
Howard, the Imperial Economist Botanist 
at Pusa, and there are hopes that a way 
has been discovered of growing Indigofera 
arrecta for seed in Behar. 

Notwithstanding the disease and short- 
age of seed supply, average yields of more 
than 20 seers of finished indigo to the 
acre have in many instances been 
obtained, and in selected fields returns of 
fully I maund have been known. When 
it is considered that the old Sumatrana 
variety only yields an average of about 
8 seers per acre, the advantages of the 
Arrecta variety are obvious ; and it is 
quite possible that when a better know- 
ledge of the plant is acquired it may prove 
a profitable crop, despite the competition 
of the synthetic article. 

The methods employed for extracting 
the finished indigo from the green plant 
are very simple and also very ancient. In 
the old days the manufacture was per- 
formed by hand labour alone, but in more 
modern times machinery has been intro- 
duced, although the actual process 
remains the same. The machinery em- 

ployed in the factory is simple, and con- 
sists of two or three pumps and an engine 
for working the paddle-wheel in the 
oxidizing vats. The green plant, when 
brought from the fields, is placed in the 
steeping vats, and the latter are then filled 
with water, the dimensions of the vats 
varying somewhat, but the usual size being 
about 1,500 cubic feet. Between I 20 and 
I 50 maunds of green plant are " loaded 
into 1,000 cubic feet of vat room, but this 
amount varies according to the state of the 
plant and to the ideas of different planters 
with regard to heavy or light loading. 
The correct steeping of the plant is one 
of the most important operations in the 
manufacture of indigo, and the time 
usually allowed is about 12 hours; the 
actual period, however, is regulated by 
the temperature of the vat. Extensive 
experiments were carried out in this line 
by Mr. Rawson, F.l.C, from 1898 to 
1903 ; and while his inquiries failed to 
show any important results, he considered 
that under optimum conditions there was 
very little room for improvement on the 
present methods of steeping. In order 
to carry out this process efficiently, it is 
necessary for all indigo factories to have 
a good supply of pure water, as its purity 
has a great effect on the quality of the 
indigo produced. In this respect Mr. 
Rawson reported that the mineral matter 
present in water was of very little conse- 
quence as a determining factor, but that 
much depends on the presence or absence 
of organic matter, especially of minute 
living forms. 

After the steeping operation is com- 
pleted the liquid is run off into another 
vat, known as the " beating vat," and 
there it is oxidized by the simple process 
of agitating the liquid so as to mix it 
with air. This agitation was in former 
days performed by hand-beating with 
wooden paddles, but in modern days a 
paddle-wheel is revolved in the vat by 
machinery. Oxidization generally occu- 
pies about I J hours, after which time the 
liquid turns from a bright green to a dark 
blue colour with a purple or reddish tinge. 
It is then allowed to settle, and the indigo 
fcBculcB precipitate to the bottom of the 
vat; the top water is then drawn off, and 
the indigo is collected and pumped into 
large boilers. 

The boiled indigo is then run on to a 
straining table, and when nearly all of the 
water has been strained off the residue 
is collected and put into presses and the 
remaining fluid pressed out. The hard 
slab of indigo is then removed from the 


press and cut into cubes of 3 inches 
square, which are placed on racks to dry, 
the final drying operation occupying 
about three months. The Indigofera 
arrecta variety is treated more or less in 
the same manner, with the exception that 
it has been found to be better to steep 
it in warm water, which is heated by steam 
as it runs into the steeping vat. 

After the cakes arc dry they are packed 
in large wooden chests, each containing 
about 3j maunds of indigo. The weight 
of this product, however, varies greatly, 
as superfine indigo will not scale more 
than 2j maunds to the chest, while very 
poor samples will weigh as much as 
5 maunds for a chest of the same size, this 
difference being due to the large amount 
of impurities contained in the inferior 
kind. The largest market in the world 
for indigo has always been Calcutta, 
where a very large proportion of the 
produce of Behar factories is sold, 
although a few planters vary this j)ro- 
cedure by sometimes shipping direct to 
London. Prior to the coming of synthetic 
indigo, the Calcutta sales were roughly 
distributed as follows : Great Britain, 30 
percent.; Europe, 50 per cent.; America, 
16 per cent.; Suez, 4 per cent. In latter 
years, however, since synthetic was avail-, 
able, the Arabs have become the best 
customers, and now take about 35 per 
cent, of the crop. In former days indigo 
was sold according to its appearance, and 
fancy prices were often paid for favourite 
marks; but in the present day all con- 
signments are analysed, and subsequently 
disposed of on the basis of such tests of 
the indigotin contained in them. 

The amount of finished indigo recovered 
from a given quantity of green plant 
varies to an extraordinary extent, from 
300 to 400 per cent, being a common 
occurrence. Cold and rainy weather is 
detrimental to good produce, but often, 
from no apparent reason, produce will be 
low in quantity. It is obvious, therefore, 
that the efficiency of extraction is depen- 
dent on a multiplication of causes, such 
as the water supply used for steeping*, 
the temi)erature of the air, and the con- 
dition r)f tlie plant itself. From Indigo- 
fera sumatrana 12 to 14 seers of finished 
indigo per 100 maunds of green plant is 
considered a good return at most fac- 
tories, while the Arrecta kind often yields 
as much as 18 to 20 seers per 100 mounds 
of plant. The average yield per acre from 
these two types is respectively about 
8 seers, and 12 to 14 seers finished 

In 1877 the Behar Planters' Associa- 
tion was formed, and in 1878 Mr. W. B. 
Hudson (afterwards Sir William Hudson) 
became secretary. The duties of the 
Association were to control the relations 
between the planter and the cultivator, 
and the past history of Behar speaks well 
for the manner in which the Association 
has performed its obligations. In 1897 
came the great crisis in the indigo in- 
dustry, as in that year the synthetic pro- 
duct was first put on the market; and the 
efi'ect on the natural produce was instan- 
taneous, seeing that prices for the latter, 
during the three succeeding years 1897 
to 1899, dropped to Rs. 152/- per maund, 
as compared with an average price of 
Rs. 234/- per maund obtained in the three 
preceding years 1894-6, while in 1904 
ordinary consuming indigo was selling as 
low as Rs. 100/- per maund. This enor- 
mous fall in values had the inevitable 
effect of reducing the cultivation of indigo, 
and in 1914, when the Great European 
War began, there were only 59 concerns 
still growing indigo, with very reduced 
cultivations, and producing about 7,000 
maunds, as against about 112 concerns, 
with an average production of more than 
65,000 maunds, that were working before 
the synthetic indigo was invented. The 
effect of the war, however, with its conse- 
quent shutting off of all supplies of dye 
from Germany, was extraordinary. Prices 
for ordinary indigo in Calcutta leapt from 
Rs. 155/- to Rs. 675/- per maund, and 
those concerns which had still remained 
true to the old dye reaped a good harvest. 
These very high figures had the natural 
effect of stimulating cultivation, and in 
191 5 a considerably larger area was 
sown; but, unfortunately, the previous 
depression of the industry had greatly 
curtailed the supply of seed. Indigo is 
not a crop in which the finished product 
can be also utilized as seed, as the plant 
has either to be kept for seed or turned 
into dye — " You cannot eat your cake and 
have it." The boom in 19 14 came too 
late to save any extra plant for seed, with 
the result that the latter, for any great 
increase of cultivation, was unobtainable 
for 191 5. It followed that a good deal 
of very inferior seed was sown, and this, 
coupled with an unfavourable monsoon, 
restricted the produce, with the result that 
the total output for Behar in 191 5 was 
not very much larger than for the pre- 
vious year. Referring to the competition 
of the synthetic indigo, it is very often 
stated by chemists and other scientists 
(whose knowledge of the practical side 


of any question is generally limited) that 
the success of the synthetic product over 
natural indigo is greatly due to the lassi- 
tude and indifference of the planter, who, 
when he was in possession of a monopoly, 
neglected to fortify himself against any 
possible competition by research into 
methods of improving his existing pro- 
cesses. That no such attemjjt was ever 
made is true, but whether the whole onus 
of this neglect can be laid at the door 
of the planter is another matter. If the 
position of the indigo industry of British 
India be considered, it will be seen that 
it would have been unreasonable to expect 
any private individuals, either singly or 
in groups, to have borne the cost of 
research in methods of manufacture. 
Indigo was produced in practically every 
Province throughout the length and 
breadth of India by all sorts and condi- 
tions of people, and the "result of any 
research in the improvement of manufac- 
ture would have become public property. 
The position of the indigo industry in 
India, spread as it was over such a wide 
area, therefore absolutely excluded any 
hope of organized research being under- 
taken, unless initiated by some central 
authority, with power to distribute the 
cost of such proceedings on all producers. 
Such a central authority was obviously the 
Government of India, and the entire blame 
for the lack of foresight in instituting in- 
quiries (as regards manufacture, at least) 
is due to that authority. There is one 
impeachment, however, whi-h can justly 
be laid at the door of the Behar indigo- 
planter, and that is his neglect to make 
any efforts to improve or guarantee the 
purity of his seed supply. As might have 
been anticipated, this neglect resulted in 
a marked deterioration of the Indigofera 
sumatrana plant. The Behar planter 
bought his seed from the United Pro- 
vinces, his object being to grow a plant 
full of leaf, as that is the only portion of 
the plant from which indigo is extracted ; 
while the seed-grower's object, on the 
other hand, was to grow a plant that 
yielded plenty of seed, and he was in- 
different about leaf. 

As there was no supervision exercised 
to see that the seed supplied was obtained 
from suitable plants, the indigo in later 
years in Behar showed a marked tendency 
to early flowering and seeding, which was 
very prejudicial to the yield of indigotin, 
as the percentage of the latter in the leaf 
during those periods is greatly reduced. 
Quite recently efforts have been made to 
secure a pure supply of seed of the 



Indigofera sumatrana, but they were too 
late to be of any material assistance to 
the industry. It is possible, however, that 
had proper attention been paid to im- 
provement of the plant the position of 
the industry to-day in Behar might have 
been very different, as it is an undeniable 
fact that crops are greatly improved by 
a scientific selection of seed, but no such 
attempt at improvement was ever made 
until recent years. 

After the appearance of synthetic 
indigo in 1897, the Indian Government 
awoke to its responsibility on the subject, 
and an annual grant in aid of research 
was sanctioned, such amount being further 
supplemented from the Behar Planters' 
Association's funds. In 1898 Mr. C. 
Rawson, one of the most prominent 
chemists connected with the dyeing in- 
dustry in England, was engaged to con- 
duct researches into the manufacture of 
indigo. Mr. Rawson worked on this 
matter up to 1903, when he was succeeded 
by Mr. Bergtheil; and, after exhaustive 
experiments, both these gentlemen 
reported finally that, as a commercial 
process, the old method of manufacture 
could not be improved upon. Their 
results showed that under normal con- 
ditions 85 per cent, of the indigotin in the 
plant was extracted, and that the cost of 
recovering the remaining 15 per cent. 
would be prohibitive. These conclusions 
have, however, been challenged by Mr. 
Bloxham, another chemist, who is of the 
opinion that only 60 per cent, of the dye 
is recovered under existing methods of 
manufacture. However this may be, it 
was decided in 1909 to abandon any 
further experiments in manufacture, and 
to devote all attention to the botanical 
side of the question with the view of pro- 
ducing a plant with an increased indigotin 
content. Mr. Parnell, a botanist, was 
then engaged, and he, in conjunction with 
Mr. Bergtheil, carried on scientific work 
in this direction. It was subsequently 
found, however, that the Research Station 
at Sirsia, in the Muzaffarpur district, was 
not suitable for a botanical station, as, 
owing to its liability to periodical flood- 
ing, a great deal of the work was lost, 
and in 19 13 it was decided to abandon the 
experiment at that place. Research work 
has, however, been taken over by the 
Imperial Government and placed under 
the direction of Mr. Howard, the Imperial 
Economic Botanist at Pusa. About 
8 lakhs of rupees were spent on research 
work by the Behar Planters' Association, 
aided by the Government. 

Although Messrs. Rawson and Berg- 
theil did not succeed in obtaining any 
important results, yet their labours have 
in some way guided the industry in its 
efforts to reduce the cost of production. 
It was Mr. Rawson who first pointed out 
that the indigo refuse (or seeth, as it is 
known as) could be much more profitably 
employed in manuring other crops than 
indigo, and it is by utilizing this seeth as 
a valuable by-product that it has been 
made possible to continue the cultivation 
of indigo to the limited extent that now 
exists. It has been shown that very heavy 
returns can be obtained from such crops 
as tobacco and wheat if manured with 
indigo refuse, and the result is that most 
concerns have adopted a system of rota- 
tion, and by judiciously combining the 
crops a fair profit can be secured. The 
combination of indigo with other crops 
has also, from a financial aspect, improved 
the methods of working the indigo in- 
dustry. In former days, when indigo 
alone was grown, a very large working 
capital was necessary, and the fact that 
this large outlay was almost entirely at 
the mercy of the vagaries of the monsoon 
made the industry very speculative. The 
average outlay per acre in Behar was 
usually about Rs. 30/-, and as the average 
return of finished indigo per acre was 
only about 8 seers, it follows that the 
manufacture of I maund cost about 
Rs. 150/-. The greater part of this out- 
lay of Rs. 30/- per acre was expended 
before the monsoon set in and before the 
crop was ready to cut, the heaviest 
expenses being in the rents of the lands, 
cultivation, and seed. If there was an 
early and abnormally heavy monsoon, fol- 
lowed by the usual flood, it often 
happened that a large portion of the crop 
was absolutely destroyed, while the yield 
from the remainder would be very dis- 
appointing. In years, therefore, of this 
description it might happen that the cost 
per maund of made indigo was very nearly 
Rs. 350/-. Now, as the average price of 
Behar indigo in the Calcutta market for 
the ten years 1888 to iSg/'was Rs. 230/, 
it can be realized that in some seasons 
very heavy losses had to be faced inde- 
pendently of interest on the outlay. The 
indigo financial year usually commenced 
in October, but as the proceeds were not 
realized until January or February of the 
following year, the money spent in 
October had to carry interest for 1 5 to 
16 months before it was repaid. It is 
these difficulties which probably account 
for the fact that when the crisis with the 


synthetic product came so many of the 
Behar concerns were found to be heavily 
mortgaged. Unless a planter had the 
necessary capital at his back to tide 
over the bad years, it was practically 
impossible for him to steer clear of 

It remains to be seen what the future 
has in store for the indigo industry of 
Behar, as it is possible that for many 
years to come the Germans will not be 
in a position to produce synthetic indigo 
at the very low rate which obtained before 
the war. For the ten years preceding 
hostilities ordinary Behar indigo sold at 
an average price of about Rs. 140/- per 
maund, and, unit for unit, this was some 
35 per cent, higher than the rates 
obtained for synthetic dye. If on the 
conclusion of the war Rs. 175/- per maund 
could be obtained for any length of time, 
it is possible that the cultivation will be 
considerably increased ; and if Mr. 
Howard, at Pusa, can master the diffi- 
culties of the cultivation of Indigofera 
arrecta, such a price, combined with the 
increased yield of the latter variety, 
should show a very fair profit. It is, 
however, an undoubted fact that for 
indigo to recapture its lost position in 
the dyeing world it must, irrespective of 
price, be offered to the dyers in a 
more standardized form than at present. 
What the dyeing trade requires is a 
paste or powder which could be guar- 
anteed to contain a, stated amount of 
indigotin. This question was discussed 
at an indigo conference called by the 
Imperial Government of India, at Delhi, 
in February 191 5, when the Behar 
Planters' Association, through their repre- 
sentatives, asked for the addition of a 
chemist to the Pusa establishment to 
investigate the possibility of turning 
indigo into a standard paste or powder, 
but up to date, however, the matter is 
still under discussion. 

If a cheap and practicable way of turn- 
ing out natural indigo in a standardized 
paste can be arrived at, there is no doubt 
that dyers would give preference to such 
a preparation over synthetic, provided 
that prices were more or less equal. It 
remains, however, to be seen what the 
Germans can 'do after the war, and if their 
cost of production is appreciably in- 
creased it is possible that the natural 
indigo will yet regain some of its lost 

Most of the principal indigo estates will 
be found fully described and illustrated 
in another section of this volume. 




which have been con- 
stituted into a single 
administrative unit 
under the recent 
scheme of territorial 
reorganization in 

Eastern India, are 
regions which in the past have played a 
great part in Indian life. As, however, 
their history is closely interwoven with 
that of Bengal proper, which has been 
dealt with in the general historical survey 
at the commencement of the volume, it 
is unnecessary to do more here than brielly 
touch upon somq of the distinctive 
features of their record. Dealing first 
with Behar, it is to be noted that this 
famous subdivision of the old Bengal 
Presidency has figured very extensively in 
Indian history. The principal town, 
named after the old subdivision, is sup- 
posed to have been the capital of the 
ancient kingdom of Majadha. Extensive 
Buddhist remains at various places, and 
notably at Nalanda, a famous seat of 
learning in the days of the Pal kings, 

attest the great antiquity and historical 
importance of the locality. 

In regard to Orissa, as Sir W. W. 
Hunter observes in his well-known work, 
no part of India has attracted less notice 
from the historians than this Province. 
" The tempests of conquest and the tidal 
waves of nations that have swept across the 
rest of India, rarely overtopped the ridges 
which wall out these shores. Sanskrit 
literature, in its prehistoric panorama of 
the upper valleys of the Ganges, reaches 
the last of the slow-moving scenes far to 
the north of Orissa. . . . The great epic 
itself, with its bright nucleus in Hindustan, 
and its broad, comet-like tail curving 
downwards in streams of light to the 
farthest point of the peninsula, shed not 
a momentary flicker over Orissa." 

The early Buddhist remains to be found 
in Orissa are of an extremely interesting 
character, and attest the great antiquity of 
the Province. They date, it has been 
surmised, as far back as the third century 
before the Christian era, and give evidence 
of the presence of extensive Buddhist 
colonies in that remote period. Orissa 


Buddhism is of interest from the fact that 
it is believed to have been from these 
colonies that Java was colonized in or 
about the first century after Christ. 

The history of Orissa subsequent to this 
period differs very little from that of a 
very large part of the territory now under 
British rule in Eastern and Southern 
India. The Province was originally a 
part of the Kalinga kingdom, and shared 
in the vicissitudes of the powerful dynasty 
that reigned over that great country which 
stretched from the Ganges to the Goda- 
very. On the decline of the Kalinga 
power in the first centuries of the Christian 
era, Orissa appears to have become inde- 
pendent. In the seventh century records 
show it to have been separately under the 
authority of Sasanka, King of Majadha, 
and Harshavardhana of Kananj. Con- 
siderably later, in the tenth and eleventh 
centuries, the Kesari kings held sway, and 
to them is attributed the building of the 
Saiva temples at Bhubaneswar and most 
of the ruins in the Alti hills. After the 
Kesari kings came the dynasty founded 
by Chora Ganga of Kalinganajar, who 


built the famous temple of Jaganath at 
Puri and the black pagoda of Konarak. 
Mahommedan influence commenced seri- 
ously to assert itself in the fourteenth cen- 
tury, when Firoz Shah conducted in person 
an expedition into Orissa. With varying 
fortunes lines of Hindoo kings, however, 
continued to reign until i 568, when 
Mukund Deo, the last of the race, was 
overthrown by Kala Pahar, the general of 
Sulaiman Kararani, the Afghan chief. The 
^old of the conquerors on the Province was 
not a substantial one, and in 1 592 the 
territory was annexed to the Mogul empire 
by Akbar. 

Orissa remained under the Moguls until 
1751, when Ali V'ardi Khan ceded the 
Province to the Mahrattas — the Bhonslas 
of Nagpur. The new owners, after the 
manner of their people, treated their pos- 

session with great harshness, harrying and 
oppressing the people and wasting their 
lands. In the circumstances it must have 
been with a sense of relief that the unfor- 
tunate inhabitants were transferred to 
British power as a result of the successful 
campaigns against the .Mahrattas in 1803. 
.^t the outset the Britisli administration 
in the Province was vested in a board of 
two Commissioners, but this arrangement 
quickly gave place to a more settled 
scheme, by whicli the territory, under the 
designation of the District of Cuttack, was 
placed in charge of a Collector, Judge, 
and Magistrate. In 1828 there was a 
further change, the Province being split 
up into three regulation districts of Cut- 
tack, Balasore, and Puri, and the non- 
regulation tributary States. These ar- 
rangements continued until the recent 

changes gave the division a more dignified 
status in the Indian administration. 

A word in conclusion as to the deriva- 
tion of tlie name of the Province. 
Orissa is so called from Odra or Ntkala, 
the name given to the northern Kalinga 
kingdom. Why this nomenclature was 
used has long been a matter of con- 
troversy. Hindus have suggested that the 
word is associated with unda ("dirt"', 
and that Orissa was the filthy land in 
aboriginal times. " The orthodox," says 
Hunter, " insist that it means the ' glorious 
country '; lexicographers suggest that it 
may only be the land of the bird killers; 
and an admirable student of the modern 
Aryan tongues interprets it as the ' out- 
lying strip.' " There is, therefore, as 
Hunter well says, a large choice for the 
reader to make his selection from. 


' I 'HE Province had no independent In that year it was considered that the 

-*■ history as far as civil administration control of the Province of Assam jjresscd 

was concerned until the year 1912, as it unduly upon the administration of Bengal, 


had up to that time been included in the 
Province of Bengal. The district of 
Assam was also included in the same 
administration. The Governor-General of 
India, by Act of Parliament in 1834, be- 
came also Governor, without Council, of 
Bengal, and this arrangement as to terri- 
torial jurisdiction was, with a few slight 
changes, continued until 1874. 

and therefore Assam, together with the 
districts of Sylhet, Cachar, and Garo 
Hills, was detached from Bengal and be- 
came a separate administration under a 
Chief Commissioner. 

In 1903, when the area of Bengal com- 
prised about 196,408 square miles, with 
a population of some 78,493,300 persons, 
a movement began for a drastic re- 

arrangement of territorial areas in that 
part of India. Several minor alterations 
took place, but it was ultimately decided 
to divide Bengal, and attach the eastern 
portion of it, including the Dacca, Chitta- 
gong, Rajshahi, and other commissioner- 
ships of Assam, and thuj form a new 
Province to l)e known as " Eastern 
Bengal and Assam." This proposal was 
carried into effect under the Governorshit) 
of Lord Curzon on October l6, 1905. 

Under the new arrangement Bengal was 
left with an area of 148,592 square miles, 
and about 54,662,529 inhabitants. Grave 
discontent arose in consequence of the 
partition, which was felt by many Ben- 
galis to be a blow to their racial interests 
and unity. Their grievances were taken 
up in England by leading men in political 
life, and a powerful movement, ultimately 
successful, was launched to secure a recon- 
sideration of the arrangements for the 
revision of the administration of the 

At the Coronation Durbar of IIi> 
Majesty the King-Emperor George V at 
Delhi in 191 i, the Royal assent was given 
to a new scheme providing for the re- 
union of Bengal, on lines which were 
generally acceptable to Indians. The 
proposals took formal shape in a pro- 
clamation issued on March 22, 1912. 
This rescript reconstituted the Province 
of Bengal, elevating it to the status of a 
Presidency Government, and provided for 
the union of the divisions of Behar and 
Orissa, and their constitution into a 



separate province under a Lieutenant- 
Governor, while Assam took its place in 
the new system as a Province under a 
Chief Commissioner. 

The Province of Behar and Orissa now 
comprises five divisions (under Commis- 
sioners), in which there are 21 districts, 
together with the Feudatory States of 

The Patna division contains the districts 
of Patna, Gaya, and Shaliabad. 

The Tirhut division consists of the dis- 
tricts of Saran, Champarun, Muzaffarpur, 
and Darbhanga. 

The Bhagalpur division embraces the 
districts of Monghyr, Bhagalpur, Purnea, 
and Sonthal-Perganas. 

The Orissa division includes the dis- 
tricts of Cuttack, Balasore, Angul, Puri, 
and Sambalpur. 

The Chola-Nagpur division comprises 
the districts of Hazaribagh, Ranchi, Pala- 
mau, Manbhum, and Singhbhum. 

The Province is bounded on the north 
by the independent State of Nepal, and 
the district of Darjeeling in Bengal; on 
the east by the Presidency of Bengal; 
on the south by the Bay of Bengal and the 
Presidency of Madras; and on the west by 
the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, 
and the Central Provinces. 

It comprises about I i 1,829 square 
miles of land (including the Feudatory 
States) and is in reality divided into two 
parts by the River Ganges, which traverses 
it from west to east. 

The northern portion, called Behar, 
consists very largely of an extensive fertile 
plain which slopes down gradually from 
the foot of the Himalaya range of moun- 
tains towards the River Ganges, where the 
elevation is somewhat higher. The greater 
portion of the soil is of a yellowish play 
colour, but in some parts the land has 
been defaced by the numerous rivers and 
streams which rush down from the Hima- 
layas and have carried with them a con- 
siderable quantity of silt and sand. 

On the southern side of the Ganges the 
effects of the Himalayan effluents are not 
so apparent as in the northern portion, 
especially towards the eastern boundary, 
where the undulating and sometimes hilly 
section of the Chota-Nagpur division 
defeats the action of the fluvial torrents. 

The Orissa portion of the Province — 
stretching from the south of Behar to the 
west, is, generally speaking, a vast alluvial 
plain, of which the southern and central 
parts comprise the delta of the great 
Mahanadi River, while the northern area 
has been largely formed by deposits 

washed down from the Chota-Nagpur 
plateau. Farther to the south of this plain 
are the rocky ranges of the Feudatory 

'Ihc principal rivers are the Ganges, 
which flows into the Province from the 
United Provinces, and which during its 
course in an easterly direction to Bengal 
receives the Gogra, the Sone, and the 
Gandak, all of these being important 
waterways ; the Mahanadi, a magnificent 
river of great breadth and depth which 
is navigable for large flat-bottomed boats 
through the Feudatory States and as far 
north as Sambalpur; and the Baitarani, 
navigable only for small boats. 

The forests of Behar and Orissa under 
Government control are about 3,700 
square miles in extent (exclusive of vast 
areas in the Feudatory States), and these 
are supervised by a conservator and four 
Imperial and eight Provincial officers 
whose appointments were sanctioned by 
the Government of India. 

Agricultural pursuits occupy a most 
prominent position among the industries 
of the whole Province, and the principal 
crops are rice, jute, cotton, indigo, wheat, 
barley, maize, oil-seeds, sugar-cane, to- 
bacco, and a number of indigenous food- 
stuff's. The total area under various kinds 
of bhadoi non-food crops, such as jute, 
indigo, early cotton, and others, is about 
793,600 acres in extent, while that under 
cultivation for rabi crops comprises about 
9,344,000 acres. 

Rice has from time immemorial been 
the staple food-crop of the native in- 
habitants of India; in fact, the grain is 
generally known by the name of dhan or 
dhanya, the latter word in Sanskrit signi- 
fying " the supporter or nourisher of 

Government statistics for the year 191 i 
showed that the Province contained ap- 
proximately about 53,200,006 acres; 
further, that the total cultivated area com- 
prised some 27,400,000 acres; and that 
the ricefields were about 17,200,000 acres 
in extent. From these figures it will be 
seen that rice covered 32 per cent, of the 
gross area, and about 63 per cent, of the 
actual cropped area. 

The most important district for the 
growing of jute is Purnea, which yields 
fully 85 per cent, of the total crop of that 
plant in the Province, but the fibre is not 
so good in quality as that which is ex- 
ported from Bengal. 

The district of Ranchi is famous for its 
splendid crops of cotton — especially the 
early species — and the annual yield of 

early and late kinds grown in the Province 
is about 20,000 bales, and one half of 
this quantity is obtained from this district. 
Although wheat and barley are essential 
for food purposes, it is found that the 
annual returns vary to a very considerable 
degree, but these differences in yield are 
due less to the nature of the soil than to 
the manner of its cultivation. Such 


primary conditions as the cleaning of the 
land, deep ploughing, irrigation (where 
necessary), and the application of manures 
are either ignored or are not understood, 
and therefore it is not surprising that the 
average yields do not exceed five and a 
half maunds per acre for wheat and about 
ten maunds for barley. These two pro- 
ducts are cultivated to the extent of 
1,200,000 acres and 1,428,200 acres 

Maize is growing in importance, and its 
area of cultivation is being extended very 

Indigo concerns are found chiefly in 
Northern Behar, in the Champaran, 
Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Saran, Purnea, 
Monghyr, Bhagalpur, and Shahabad dis- 

Methods of agriculture in all parts of 
the Province are, as a rule, practised in 
an exceedingly primitive manner, the great 
majority of the smallholders not caring to 
deviate from the hoary customs which have 
been handed down from generation to 
generation. Sons cultivate as their fathers 
and grandfathers did ; why should they 
adopt new-fangled operations ? Why 
should they pay attention to reports of 
heavier crops gained by improved tillage, 


of increased value of yields, or of a 
greater return for capital expended ? 
This, in a word, describes the state of 
affairs which the Agricultural Department 
of the Province is seeking to remedy by 
practical demonstrations on experimental 
farms and by theoretical teaching in col- 
leges, and even in village schools. 

Agricultural stations have been estab- 
lished at Cuttack, Bankipore, Sabour, and 
Dumraon, at which work of an experi- 
mental character is carried on, while there 
are also two small demonstration farms at 
Angul and Sambalpur. Interesting and in- 
structive experiments are being conducted 
by Government experts at Sabur, in the dis- 
trict of Bagalpur, with regard to different 
varieties of sugar-cane, on the character 
and quality of their fibres, and the effect 
of certain manures upon the time of ripen- 
ing of the cane. Investigations are also 
being made at some or all of the stations 
into matters relating to the types of 
wheat, barley, rice, and other cereals which 
should be selected for various districts. 
The colleges furnish instruction in prac- 
tical agriculture, chemistry, botany, my- 
cology, entomology, bacteriology, and 
other similar subjects. 

Divisional agricultural associations ren- 
der efficient help to the Government of the 
Province by reporting upon the particular 
types of seeds and manures which are 
most suitable for their areas, and, further, 
upon such questions as rainfall, irrigation, 
yields and prices of crops, and by giving 
information as to the labour market in 
each district. 

The most important mineral industry in 
■the Province is the mining of coal, which 
is assuming immense proportions in the 
Jherria, Giridih, Hazaribagh, Palamau, 
and other colliery areas. These fields 
were practically undeveloped until railway 
companies extended their systems into 
those areas, when a remarkable demand 
sprang up for locally produced coal for 
fuel for locomotives, factories, mills, 
steamers, and household purposes. Minor 
industries in the five divisions may be 
referred to briefly as follows: Patna 
division — there are comparatively few 
evidences of any important advance having 
been made in recent years, although occu- 
pation is found for a large number of 
inhabitants in the manufacture of salt- 
petre, carpets, dhurries, copper and brass 
utensils, woollen blankets, palanquins, 
ekkas, boots, glass, wooden furniture, and 
gold and silver embroidery and cloth. 

Sugar-refining is carried on at Sasaram 
and Buxar in the district of -Shahabad, and 

in the first-mentioned place there is con- 
siderable activity in the quarrying of 
limestone and the burning of lime. The 
latest statistics show that 44,138 tons of 
limestone, 2,050 tons of ballast, and 
1,649 tons of lime were exported in one 
year. There are also large flour and oil- 
pressing mills at Dinapore. 

The division of Tirhut is noted chiefly 
for a very large increase in the area 
devoted to the cultivation of sugar-cane 
and in the number of refineries, and it 
is evident that the manufacture of sugar 
is taking the place of indigo concerns 
in many of the districts. Railway 
sleepers are made in the districts of Cham- 
paran and Darbhanga. In the division 
of Bhagalpur the industries include the 
manufacture of country cigarettes (known 
as hiris), indican, silk and cotton cloths, 
bricks, steel trunks, guns, and sugar, while 
the smelting of iron is carried on by the 
Kols at Deogharh and Godda, the metal 
being used in the manufacture of spades, 
padlocks, ploughshares, and domestic 
articles. Filigree silver work manufac- 
tured in the division of Orissa is recog- 
nized throughout India for its artistic 
beauty, while the making of tassar and 
cotton cloths, fine muslins, and brass and 
bellmetal utensils and ornaments gives 
employment to a very large number of 

Coal mining is the most important in- 
dustry in the division of Chota-Nagpur, 
and the annual output from the district 
of Manbhum alone exceeds the quantity 
produced in the whole of the remaining 
portion of British India. Tea is pro- 
duced in the district of Hazaribagh; 
tassar cloths in Manbhum; shellac, coarse 
cotton cloths, and brass articles in all 
districts; and granite and limestone 
quarries are worked in several commer- 
cial centres. Industrial concerns of com- 
paratively recent establishment, but em- 
ploying large numbers of hands, include 
the extensive works of the Tata Iron and 
Steel Company, Ltd., at Sakchi, the 
mining operations of the Cape Copper 
Company, Ltd., at Matigara, and the Ben- 
gal Iron and Steel Company, Ltd., at Dina 
and Turramdih. 

The frontier trade of the Province is 
carried on exclusively with Nepal, the 
principal imports being rice and other 
food grains, livestock, hides, skins, jute, 
and oil-seeds, while the exports include 
cotton yarn, piece goods of foreign manu- 
facture, and metals of all kinds. 

In connection with educational matters 
it must not be forgotten that in very early 


days there were throughout the whole of 
India numerous seats of learning, and 
many Hindu pundits and Mahommedan 
maulvis, but the instruction then given was 
connected almost entirely with religious 
training, and was thereby cramped and 
narrowed into restricted channels by caste 
and social prejudices. It is generally 
admitted that the first attempt to give 
instruction in schools which were uncon- 
nected with racial or traditional barriers 
took place about a hundred years ago, 
when European missionaries began to 
teach in the vernacular, and, further, made 
a beginning with studies in the English 

-Some results of those first steps in edu- 
cation are to be seen to-day in several 
towns in Behar and Orissa, but, taking the 
Province as a whole, this most important 
question has only come to the front in 
comparatively recent years. 

The efforts of the Government to foster 
education have met with a gratifying 
recognition by a very large proportion of 
the inhabitants of the various districts, and 
in proof of this one need only refer to 
figures published in the Administration 
Report of the Province in 1 914. That 
report shows that, at the date of issue, 
there were 30,219 educational institutions 
with 847,244 pupils, this being an increase 
over the numbers for the previous years 
of 756 schools, and 42,586 scholars, but 
it is still a matter of controversy and 
opinion whether this class of education is 
of -real advantage to the development of 
the country. 

There are not many good roads in the 
Province, owing partly to the difficulty of 
construction upon alluvial soil and partly 
because a sufficient supply of suitable 
metal is rarely available in places where it 
is required, but competent engineers such 
as Mr. L. R. Broome, of Muzaff^arpur and 
Mr. G. A. Ostler, of Motihari, are gradu- 
ally improving the highways. 

Excellent means of communication are, 
however, provided by rivers and canals, 
and by railways which are under the direct 
control and administration of the Railway 
Board of the Government of India. 

The open mileage of railways in the 
Province was recently shown to be 
approximately: standard gauge, i,7 5° 
miles; metre gauge, 1,150 miles; and 
2 feet 6 inches in width, 250 miles. 

The following towns are in the division 
of Patna: — 

Arrah.—The terrible days of the mutiny 
of 1857 will long live historically in the 


annals of tlie town of Arrah, as one of the 
most stirring episodes in the rebellion 
occurred there. On July 27th in that year 
when news reached Arrah that about two 
thousand Sepoys and between seven and 
eight thousand armed villagers were 
marching upon the town, steps were at 
once taken to secure the safety of the 
women and children by removing them to 
another place. Some fifteen or si.xteen 
Englishmen, however, were determined to 
defend themselves to the utmost of their 
ability, and they accordingly placed them- 
selves under the leadership of a Mr. 
Vicars Boyle, an engineer employed in the 
construction of a section of the East 
Indian Railway. This gentleman barri- 
caded the windows of the smaller of two 
houses which he then occupied, and, 
further, laid in a stock of provisions, doing 
his utmost to prevent his miniature 
fortress from being compelled to sur- 
render. .\fter the mutineers had released 
the prisoners from the jail and had plun- 
dered the Treasury, they turned their 
attention to Boyle and his companions, 
who were then supported by some fifty 
Sikhs supplied by the Commissioner of 
Patna, and commanded by the magistrate 
of the district. The invaders took pos- 
session of the large house belonging to 
Boyle, and from windows they continued 
to fire upon the besieged party until 
August 2nd, when the gallant garrison was 
relieved by the opportune appearance of 
Major Vincent Eyre and a hundred and 
fifty men of the 5th Regiment of Fusiliers 
and about thirty artillerymen. Eyre dis- 
persed the rebels so efficiently that they 
never recovered from the blow. 

Arrah is an important station on the 
East Indian Railway, and is 368 miles dis- 
tant from Calcutta. 

Bankipore, an important commercial 
town delightfully situated on the southern 
bank of the Ganges, is a junction station 
on the East Indian Railway system, and 
338 miles distant from Calcutta. 

The Province of Behar and Orissa is 
frequently referred to as the " Garden of 
India," and one can well imagine that such 
a flattering description might have been 
given after the author of it had made an 
inspection of the extremely fine Euro- 
pean residences standing in trim gardens 
and grounds which slope to the very brink 
of the river at Bankipore. 

The majority of the public edifices are 
of modern construction, and they include 
Government offices, court houses, and post 
and telegraph and other buildings. 

Behar, known in history as being the 

capital in the ninth century of the Pala 
kings, is situated on the Panchana River, 
and it now resembles a long, narrow street 
with a number of lanes branching there- 
from. The town possesses some of the 
most interesting structural remains in the 
who'.e of the Province. 

foremost among these is a sandstone 
pillar, 14 feet in height, upon which are 
two inscriptions of the period of the 
Gupta dynasty, bearing date between the 
years 413 and 480. The fort, of which 
ruins are still visible, was 2,800 feet in 
length from north to south, and 2,100 feet 
from east to west in width, and was sur- 
rounded by a wall about 20 feet in height. 

Although Gaya, the chief town of the 
district of the same name, has a popula- 
tion of about 50,000 inhabitants, it has 
few industries of any importance, but as 
the centre of a thriving agricultural area 
its commercial activities are worthy of 

Gaya is the headquarters of ancient 
Buddhism, and Buddha himself is believed 
to have lived in the jungle near to the town 
during the time that he was preparing for 
his future work as a teacher of the law. 

Mokameh is a busy town with nearly 
14,000 inhabitants in the district of 
Patna, with a station on the East Indian 
Railway system, some 283 miles distant 
from Calcutta. It is connected by a 
branch line with Mokameh Ghat, and 
thence with the Bengal and North Western 
Railway, and therefore the passenger 
traffic through the town is occasionally 
very large. It derives much of its im- 
portance from its being a receiving and 
forwarding depot for agricultural produce 
and general merchandise from Patna and 
other districts. 

It is more than probable that Patna is 
built upon the site of Pataliputra, which 
was founded in the fifth century B.C., and 
became the metropolis of India between 
the years 321-297 B.C. 

Modern Patna, the largest city in the 
Province, extends for a distance of nearly 
nine miles along a bank of the Ganges 
River, and it is mainly a long, straggling 
place of little architectural beauty, 
although some of the buildings which have 
been erected in recent years have preten- 
sions to distinction. Among the latter is 
the Patna College, founded in 1862, 
occupying a reconstructed building which 
was formerly the private residence of a 
wealthy Indian gentleman. The Patna 
Oriental Library, too, is a fine structure 
containing a number of beautiful Arabic 
and Persian manuscripts, some very rare 

specimens of Oriental calligraphy, and 
about four thousand volumes of Arabic 
and Persian books, and some three 
thousand European works. The" city has 
a population of about 135,000 souls. 

Sasaram. — The name of this town signi- 
fies " one thousand toys," and its deriva- 
tion is locally ascribed to the fact that a 
certain Asura, or demon, who is said to 
have lived here, had a thousand arms, in 
each of which he held a separate play- 
thing. Many visitors are attracted for the 
purpose of seeing the tomb of the Afghan 
Sher Shah, who defeated Humayun and 
subsequently became Emperor of Delhi. 
The tomb is in the form of an octagonal 
hall, which is surrounded by an arcade 
or gallery, while the roof is supported by 
four Gothic arches. 

The town has a very large municipal 
market from which a considerable revenue 
is derived, and its population comprises 
about 23,000 persons. 

The following places are in the division 
of Tirhut : — 

Bettiah is by far the most important 
centre of trade in the district of Cham- 
paran, which produces very large crops of 
rice, a considerable quantity of indigo, and 
a fair annual yield of barley, oats, wheat, 
maize, gram, oil-seeds of various kinds, 
tobacco, and sugar-cane. There arc few 
prettier towns in Northern Behar than 
Bettiah. Its streets are clean and well 
kept, and there is an atmosphere of pros- 
perity which has been greatly developed, 
not by its inhabitants alone, but by the 
munificence of the Bettiah Raj which is 
situated within its borders. The beau- 
tiful snow-capped hills of Nepal make an 
exceedingly pretty background, and in the 
hottest weather one can enjoy the invigor- 
ating cool breezes which seem to be 
wafted from them across the intervening 
space. All colours of the rainbow are 
represented in the beautiful flowers and 
verdant foliage which are seen on every 
hand, and the efforts of a very active 
municipal council to secure conformity and 
artistic style in the construction of public 
buildings, as well as private residences, 
have been conspicuously successful. The 
palace of the Rajas of Bettiah is the chief 
attraction for visitors, but it is by no 
means disgraced by being in the company 
of the handsomely designed and well- 
equipped King Edward Memorial Hos- 
pital, facing the maidan, which is one of 
the most up-to-date institutions of its kind 
in the Province. This home of healing has 
been built, fitted throughout with the latest 


scientific appliances and apparatus, and 
endowed by the Bettiah Raj. The new 
town hall, high school, and other build- 
ings are' also worthy of inspection. 

It may be added that the hospital was 
opened by Sir Charles Stcuart-Baylcy, 
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province, on 
March i6, 1915. 

Chopra, the headquarters of thi- district 
of Saran, is situated on the left bank of 
the River Gogra. 

Early in the eigliteentli century the 
English, French, Portuguese, and Dutch 
had factories there, but the commercial 
activities of the town were seriously 
affected by the deflection first of the 
Ganges, and subsequently of the Gogra, 
rivers. An outbreak of plague occurred 
in the year 1900, and again in 1902 and 
1903, and many panic-stricken people left 
the town and district. Confidence has 
been restored to some extent, however, and 
at the present time a considerable trade 
is carried on in the export of linseed, raw 
sugar, shellac, saltpetre, and opium. 

The district of Darbhanga has a large 
export trade in rice, indigo, wheat, grain, 
pulses, fruit, vegetables, and oil-seeds, and 
its chief town, bearing the same name, has 
excellent means of communication witli 
Calcutta and other places, not only by 
means of railways, but also by boats which 
ply upon the Baghinati River. 

Darbhanga tlie town -extends for a 
distance of nearly six miles along the east 
bank of the above-named river, which is 
spanned by two iron bridges constructed 
by a rich banker of the town and by one 
of the Maharajas of Darbhanga. Some 
very fine tanks are distinctive features of 
the place, three of these — constructed in a 
line— having a total length of 6,000 feet, 
while others range from 1,600 feet to 
2,400 feet, with a breadth of 1,000 ft. 

The Maharajas of Darljhanga liave 
had their residence here since the year 

Hajipur. in the district of Muzaffarpur, 
is interested largely in trading in the rich 
agricultural products produced in sur- 
rounding villages, consisting of indigo, 
co'.ton, pulses, rice, grain, copper and 
brass vessels, linseed, tobacco, saltpetre, 
fruit, and vegetables. Several temples 
and mosques are to be seen, not only in 
the town but also in neighbouring villages. 

Motihari. — This town occupies an at- 
tractive position on the eastern side of a 
pretty lake, and has a population of about 
14,000 inhabitants. 

As the chief town of the district of 
Champaran, which consists of an area of 

highly cultivated and productive land, it 
is naturally a busy centre for the disposal 
of agricultural produce, but many of its 
inhabitants are also engaged in oil-press- 
ing, the weaving of dhurries, and the 
making of strong money bags and mats. 
Muzaffarpur, situated on the Chota 
Gandak River, and about ^^J miles 
distant from Calcutta, was founded by 
Muzafifar Khan, and is the headquarters 
of the district of the same name. It 
enjoys a very considerable trade in ex- 
porting agricultural produce, including 
cereals, indigo, hides, linseed, cotton, and 
saltpetre, and in importing different kinds 
of mercharidise, and the greater portion 
of this traffic is carried on by means of 
boats upon the River Gandak, which is 
navigable for many miles during the 
rainy season. Daily markets are held in 
the bazars. The streets of the town are 
broad and well-kept, while many of its 
buildings are of a superior character, such 
as the coUectorate, court houses, a dis- 
pensary, and several schools, some of 
which are supported by the Behar Scien- 
tific Society. 

Samastipur is a very large trading 
centre in the district of Darbhanga, and 
the town on the south bank of the Burhi 
Gandak River is an important junction on 
the Bengal and North-Western Railway 
systems, in whose workshops more than a 
thousand hands are employed. 

Municipal government was granted to 
it in the year 1897, and its inhabitants at 
a recent census were nearly 10,000 in 

Sitamarhi. — .\ curious old legend is in 
existence to the effect that the lovely 
Janaki, or Sita, whose life is described 
in the " Ramayana," sprang to life at 
Sitamarhi out of an earthen vessel into 
which Raja Janak had driven his plough- 
share. Apart from this story, however, 
the town is worthy of notice as one of 
the leading commercial centres of the 
district of Muzaffarpur, the chief produce 
in trading being rice, oil-seeds, hides, 
saltpetre, sacred threads, and pottery. It 
has a large bazar in which markets are 
held daily. 

Sonepore. — It is tolerably certain that 
there is not a single sportsman connected 
with the turf in India who has not heard 
of the delightful racing fixtures and the 
festivities which were formerly held 
annually at Sonepore in the district of 

The village is situated at the junction 
of the Ganges and Gandak Rivers, and its 
charming surroundings present a most 


pleasing contrast to the " canvas town " 
which came into existence when visitors 
from all parts of the Provinces of Bengal 
and Behar and Orissa — and even from far 
distant places — formerly pitched their 
tents for these delightful gatherings. The 
native fair is still one of the largest and 
most interesting in India. 


The following towns are in the division 
of Bhagalpur : — 

The " largest locomotive workshops in 
India " are those belonging to the East 
Indian Railway Company at Jamalpur, a 
municipal town in the district of Monghyr, 
and 297 miles distant from Calcutta. 
.Nearly ten thousand hands are employed 
in the shops, which contain the most ap- 
proved types of machinery for the con- 
struction of locomotives, and the manu- 
facture of appliances requisite for the 
maintenance of the permanent way of the 
company's system. 

The Kurruckpore range of hills, wliich 
have an average altitude of about 200 feet, 
form a pretty background to the well- 
kept roads and neat bungalows of the 
town, which, at the census of 1911, had 
a population of about 20,000 persons. 

Six miles distant from Jamalpur, and 
connected therewith by a branch line 
of the East Indian Railway Company, is 
Aloitjrhyr, a municipal town with an area 
of three square miles and situated iibout 
208 miles distant from Calcutta. The 
chief attraction of the place is a fort with 
walls 4,000 feet in length and 3,000 feet 
in width, which surround a high mound, 
the site of a citadel in earlier days. 

A really go-ahead town in this neigh- 
bourhood is Bhagalpur, which has pro- 
gressed at a remarkaljly rapid rate during 
the past few years owing to the greatly 
increasing export trade in agricultural 
produce and to the establishment of a 
number of local industries such as the 
manufacture of ropes, carpets, blankets, 
the grinding of grain, and the making of 
household furniture. In order to meet this 
commercial expansion, the East Indian 
Railway Company have erected a second 
goods station with the view of coping with 
the enormous traffic. 

Sultangungc, in the district of Bhagal- 
pur, and 280 miles distant from Calcutta, 
is a flourishing mart whence produce from 
the surrounding productive neighbourhood 
is carried by boats on the River Ganges 
to Calcutta and other important trade 
centres. There are a number of Buddhist 
monasteries near to the railway station, 
together with a famous Sivaite temple 



Photo by L. A'. Broome. 



standing on a rock in the middle of the 

The following are in the district of 
Orissa : — 

About ten miles distant in a south- 
westerly direction is Balasore, on the right 
bank of the Burrabulang River and about 
six miles distant from the sea-coast. This 
is a busy commercial town, but it is 
coming more and more into prominence 
owing to an influx of visitors during the 
summer months, who take up their resi- 
dence there with the view of enjoying a 
holiday within easy reach of the shores 
of the Bay of Bengal. 

The chief attraction in Balasore is, how- 
ever, the temple of Mahadev, which, ac- 
cording to local tradition, sprang directly 
from the ground, or, like the immortal 
Topsy, has " growed." 

The headquarters for administrative 
purposes of the division of Orissa are at 
Cuttack, a pleasantly situated town on the 
Mahanadi River, in the district of Cuttack, 
and 253 miles distant from Calcutta on 
the Bengal-Nagpur Railway system. The 
town has an area of about four square 
miles, and extends from the Mahanadi on 
the north to the Katjuri River on the 
south. A writer, speaking of the pictur- 
esque appearance of Cuttack, says: " the 
horizon is bounded by a forest of beau- 
tiful trees, which extend as far as the eye 
can reach, and line the bottom and sides 
of a chain of high mountains that seem to 
reach to the very sky ; and this charming 
prospect with its triple circle of beauties 
is enjoyed by the inhabitants all the year 

The majority of the public buildings 
are of an imposing character and include 
the offices of the Bengal-Nagpur Railway 
Company, the general hospital, the court 
offices, and a number of educational estab- 

Cuttack is excellently served by railway, 
road, and river communications with 
places in the district, and with many of 
the principal commercial centres in the 

A legend, inscribed on palm-leaf 
records in the Jagannath temple says that 
the town was founded by Nrupakesari 
between the years 953 and 961, and that, 
as the site chosen was at a point where the 
Mahanadi is divided into several small 
streams, massive stone embankments were 
constructed to prevent damage accruing 
to the buildings by periodical overflows 
of water. 

It is tolerably clear that Cuttack was 

strongly fortified in early days ; its name 
even is believed to be connected with the 
word " kataka," signifying a fort, and at 
the present time visitors may see the 
remains of a very old citadel. 

In the same district of Cuttack is 
Jajptir, historically a very interesting town 
built on the banks of the sacred River 
Bhaitarani. Near to this river may be 
seen temples dedicated to Jagannath and 
Kali, but the latter has special attractions 
for visitors, as a gallery on its eastern 
side contains seven life-sized monolith 
statues of the mothers in Hindu myth- 
ology, namely, Indrani, Varahi, V'aish- 
navi, Kumari, Yarna Matri, Kali, and 
Rudrani, together with one of the incarna- 
tion of Vishnu. 

Pari. — It is barely twenty years since 
the Bengal-Nagpur Railway Company, im- 
pressed by the invigorating climate and 
the health-giving breezes of the sea at 
Puri, on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, 
extended their system by a branch line, 
27 miles in length, from Khurda Road. 
The opening of the line resulted in such 
a marked development of the town that it 
is to-day visited by a large number of per- 
sons from Bengal and other portions of 
India. Hotels and boarding houses have 
been opened, and the numerous handsome 
villa-residences in the neighbourhood of 
the beach are evidence of the growing 
popularity of the place. 

Puri is, however, famous primarily as 
the place of the venerated shrine of Jagan- 
nath, visited annually by some 300,000 
pilgrims, and for the yearly car festival 
of that deity, which is attended by no 
fewer than 100,000 persons. A sacred 
enclosure, about 652 feet in height, has 
within it about a hundred temples, but 
the one dedicated to Jagannath is by 
far the most attractive one. The cere- 
monies connected with the car festival are 
described in a cyclopaedia of India ( 1905) 
as follows: " A good broad road, about 
a mile and a half in length, leads from the 
temple of Jagannath to a place called 
Inderdumna, where the deity is supposed 
to spend eight days during the Rathjatra 
festival. The Jagannath temple, called 
' Sri Mundir,' is the largest, and the 
entrance to it is called the ' lion gate,' two 
stone lions keeping guard 'as it were on 
either side. In the courtyard of the 
temple pilgrims assemble at special times 
during the day and night to get a view 
of the images of Jagannath, and Bolaram 
his brother, and Suljhadra his sister, which 
stand on an altar called the ' Rutna Bedi,' 
or jewel seat. 


" The figures are decked witli fine 
jewellery and gaudy dresses, and a large 
diamond glitters on the forehead of 
Jagannath. The dresses are changed 
several times during the twenty-four 
hours. ' Bhog,' or prosad, is offered to 
the god several times during the day; it 
is piled up before the deity; a large por- 
tion is distributed to the pilgrims who pay 
for it; and the rest is sent to Anandbazar, 
a place within the compound of the temple, 
for sale to the public. A fortnight before 
the Rath Jatra festival, the Snan Jatra, or 
bathing festival, takes place. Jagannath 
is bathed, and then remains indisposed for 
two weeks afterwards, during which time 
the doors of the temple are kept closed, 
although his car, with sixteen wheels, and 
the smaller ones of his brother and sister, 
are being made ready. On the auspicious 
day the three sacred images are placed 
on their respective cars amid great shout- 
ings and rejoicings, accompanied by the 
beating of drums and the clashing of cym- 
bals. Thousands of pilgrims prostrate 
themselves before the cars, and vast num- 
bers catch hold of the towing ropes and 
commence hauling them to Jagannath's 
garden at Janakpur, a distance of nearly 
a mile, where the god remains for ten 

About 133 miles distant from Calcutta 
is Rupsa junction, on the Bengal-Nagpur 
Railway system, which is connected with 
Baripada, the headquarters of Mayurbhanj 
(the largest and wealthiest of the Feuda- 
tory States of Orissa) by a branch narrow 
gauge line — 33 miles in length — con- 
structed by the State. This means of 
communication has resulted in a large 
development of trade in the district in 
paddy, firewood, and railway sleepers, 
and the permanent settlement of a con- 
siderable number of persons who are 
engaged in the reclamation of jungle land 
for agricultural purposes. 

The town of Sambalpnr, created a 
municipality in 1867, is the terminus of a 
branch line starting from Jharsuguda 
junction on the Bengal-Nagpur Railway 
system. It is the principal town of the 
district of the same natne, and is 350 miles 
distant from Calcutta. 

In the neighbourhood of many of the 
vast waterways of India one may be con- 
stantly charmed with the ever-varying 
freshness of riparian vegetation, and the 
picturesque surroundings of the countless 
number of private bungalows which peep 
out from the luxuriant foliage of tropical 
trees, and a good illustration of this is 
seen in the neighbourhood of the Mahanadi 


River, upon whose banks the town of 
Sambalpur is built. 

Sambalpur is a great centre of com- 
merce, dealing largely with agricultural 
produce drawn from its surrounding 
villages and from the districts of Sone- 
pur, Patna, and Kairakhol. Industries are 
few in number, although the weaving of 
tassar silk and cotton cloth is carried on 
by a numl)er of the inhabitants. 

The following towns are in the division 
of Chota-N'agpur : — 

Chaibassa, the municipal town in the 
district of Singhbhum, is prettily situated 
on the River Roro, and its name, whicli 
means " a dwelling place of rest," is richly 
deserved. Its principal street has the 
appearance of a peaceful, old-world 
English village thoroughfare, in which 
dwelling houses and shops are irregularly 
but charmingly built among a profusion of 
grand old trees, but there seems to be 
little in the way of industrial or commer- 
cial enterprise excepting on Tuesday in 
each week, when crowds of people from 
the surrounding neighbourhood flock into 
the town to dispose of their wares in the 
busy bazar. The town is 184 miles distant 
from Calcutta. 

Chulia, about two miles distant in an 
easterly direction from Ranchi, is a 
delightfully interesting place for archae- 
ologists as it contains fine ruins of a once 
dome-shaped building. Another special 
feature is the annual fair, at which an 
e.\ceedingly large number of animals are 
offered for sale, these comprising iilmost 
every type of four-footed beast 'excepting 
jerce naturee) from massive elephants to 
the domestic goats. 

Very little attention was paid to the 
value of the mineral wealth of the Province 
until about the middle of the nineteenth 
century, but rapid strides have been taken 
since that time in opening up coal and 
other mines, with the result that a very 
large industry, employing thousands of 
workers, has now been firmly established. 
Since the East Indian Railway Company 
extended their system to the district of 
Palamau, the coal fields in the neighbour- 
hood of Daltonganj '422 miles distant 
from Calcutta) which were known to con- 
tain most valuable deposits, have been 
opened up by a number of companies, and 
the total annual output is increasing very 
considerably. Lime, too, has been dis- 
covered, and it is certain that the town, 
which now contains a population of about 
8,000 persons, will soon be an important 

anufacturing centre. 

The station at Giridih, on the East 
Indian Railway Company's system, is the 
terminal point of a branch line, 23 miles 
in length, running from the junction at 
Madhupur, and the town, which has a 
population of about i 1,000 inhabitants, is 
the headquarters of a subdivision of the 
district of Hazaribagh. The Kurhurbarec 
coalfields — from whose mines the East 
Indian Railway Company draw the major 
portion of their coal — are c[uite near to 
Giridih, and it is these collieries which 
account for nearly the whole of the very 
heavy goods traffic on the railway. 

— together with Hankipore- is the head- 
quarters of the Government of Behar and 
Orissa. There are a number of industries 
in the town, such as the pressing of oil- 
seeds, the pounding of aloes, weaving, 
gardening, and the making of cane and 
basket ware. 

Purulia is the headquarters of the dis- 
trict of Manbhum, and is about 200 miles 
distant from Calcutta. 

The town of Ranchi is most pictur- 
esquely situated on a plateau, some 2,000 
feet in height, and enjoying commanding 
views of fertile plains, which are inter- 




^* * T^Btff?* ' 

1— -»; — -•—•»--» pi ^ tri!!'!"*'"''' ■'■"'"■■■''' 



Picturesquely situated among hills 
covered with dense forests, is the town 
of Hazaribagh, which is near to the station 
of Hazaribagh Road on the East Indian 
Railway system, and about 2 1 5 miles 
distant from Calcutta. 

The town, by reason of its bracing 
climate at an altitude of 2,000 feet above 
the level of the sea, is regarded as a most 
desirable sanatorium by the inhabitants of 
the Province of Behar and Orissa. The 
name of Hazaribagh is said to be derived 
from a grove of mango-trees, about a 
thousand in number, and the village, as 
it then was, eventually grew into a town- 
ship which is locally referred to as " the 
garden of a thousand trees." The district 
furnishes many attractions for sportsmen 
as it is well stocked with tigers. 

A station of considerable importance on 
the northern section of the Bengal-Nagpur 
Railway is Purulia, the junction of a 2 feet 
inch gauge branch line to Ranchi, which 


spersed by rocky promontories, with the 
long, low range of the Ramgarh Hills in 
the distance. This elevation, coupled with 
the fact that any excessive rains disappear 
quickly down the sides of the plateau, give 
the town a remarkably healthy and in- 
vigorating climate, and a comparatively 
low temperature enables the occupiers of 
the many pretty private residences to cul- 
tivate a wealth of beautiful flowers, which 
give visitors the idea that they have been 
suddenly transported to English gardens. 
Bungalows inhabited by the Commissioner 
of the district of Ranchi, and of other 
prominent residents, are very charmingly 
situated amid a profusion of foliage near 
to the Ranchi Lake, which is a very fine 
piece of water about 50 acres in extent. 
The business portion of the town com- 
prises native bazars, thronged by villagers 
of the neighbourhood, who carry on a 
brisk trade in agricultural and general 
produce. The principal buildings are the 


Government offices and a strikingly hand- 
some cathedral, surmounted by a grace- 
ful spire which can be seen from a great 

On the shores of the lake is a Hindu 
temple dedicated to Siva, and about three 
miles distant is the military cantonment of 

The station of the Bengal-Nagpur Rail- 
way Company at Ranchi is 273 miles dis- 
tant from the terminus at Howrah. A 
motor-car service has been established 
from Hazaribagh Road station on the East 
Indian Railway to Bagoda, the town of 
Hazaribagh, and thence to Ranchi. 

The Feudatory States of Orissa are 
twenty-four in number, the names of which 
are: Athgarh, Athmallia, Bamra, Baramba, 
Baud, Bonai, Daspalla, Dhenkanal, Gang- 
pur, Hindol, Kalahandi, Keonjhar, Khand- 
para, Mayurbhanj, Narsinghpur, Nayagarh, 
Nilgiri, Pal Lohara, Patna, Rairakhol, 
Ranpur, Sonpur, Talchar, and Tigiria. 

These States are attached to the division 
of Orissa, and have an area of 28,125 
square miles, and are inhabited by a popu- 
lation of more than 3,000,000 persons. 

Mr. L. E. B. Cobden-Ramsay, I.C.S., 
in the "Bengal Gazetteer" (19 10) 
writes as follows: "The States have no 
connected or authentic history. Compris- 
ing, as they do, the western and hilly 
portion of Orissa, they were never brought 
under the Central Government, but from 
the earliest times consisted of numerous 
petty principalities, which were more or 
less independent of one another. 

" They were first inhabited by abori- 
ginal races, chiefly Bhuiyas, Savars, 
Gonds, and Khonds, who were divided into 
innumerable communal or tribal groups, 
each under its own chief or headman. 

" They carried on incessant warfare 
with their neighbours on the one hand and 
the denizens of the forest on the other. In 
course of time their hill retreats were 
penetrated by Aryan adventurers, who, by 
reason of their superior powers and in- 
telligence, gradually overthrew the tribal 
chiefs and established themselves in their 

" Tradition relates how these daring 
interlopers, most of whom were Rajputs 
from the north, came to Puri on pilgrim- 
age and remained behind to found king- 
doms and dynasties." 

The States consist of a succession of 
ranges of hills (from which noble peaks 
ascend to heights varying from 2,000 feet 
to nearly 5,000 feet), dense forests, and 
well-watered valleys of highly cultivated 
land, but the outstanding feature is the 
remarkably pleasing effect produced by 
the contrast between rugged grey rocks 
and the brilliant green foliage of the 
luxuriant vegetation. 

It is the variety in the scenery which is 
so charming, for the eye may rest upon 
the freshness of growing crops of rice, 
mustard, sesamum, wheat, barley, or 
cotton, while the hills with their beautiful 
verdure are not a whit less pleasing, and 
a never-failing source of delight is fur- 
nished by the crystal rivers which flow 

along the plains, or rush from higher lands 
through narrow gorges, plunging over 
precipitous rocky mountains with a sheer 
drop of more than 2,000 feet. 

It will be readily understood that the 
almost impenetrable jungle and the more 
sparsely populated portions of the States 
are well stocked with the large species of 
wild game. Elephants are still numerous 
in several of the States; bison are usually 
found in the same districts ; and tiger.'; 
and panthers are met with everywhere; 
while the smaller animals, which are plen- 
tiful, comprise bears, various kinds of 
deer, pigs, wild dogs, and jackals. 

Fully two-thirds of the population 
obtain a livelihood from agricultural pur- 
suits, and the majority of them belong to 
peaceable law-abiding tribes, among whom 
are the Khonds, Hos, Bhuiyas, Bhumijes, 
Oraons, Santals, Kharias, Savars, and 

Local industries are comparatively few 
in number, and are not in any way remark- 
able. They comprise the manufacture of 
brass utensils, silver articles, tasser and 
cotton cloth, and a variety of iron imple- 
ments for agricultural and domestic 

Very little progress has been made with 
regard to education, but primary and 
secondary schools have been erected in 
the majority of the States in recent years, 
and already there are signs of a greater 
interest being manifested in this most 
important matter. 


TNDIGO was a product of North Behar 
■*■ long before the advent of the British, 
but its cultivation by European methods 
appears to have been started by Francois 
Grand, the first Collector of Tirhut. 
Writing in 1785, three years after his ap- 
pointment as Collector, he claims to have 
been the pioneer of the industry, and 
says: — 

" I introduced the manufacturing of 
indigo after the European manner, en- 
couraged the establishment of indigo 
works and plantations, and erected three 
at my own e.xpense." It is at least from 
this time that the manufacture of indigo 
began to develop into an industry and to 
attract European enterprise. In 1788 

By thk Hon-. T. R. FILGATE, CLE. 

there were five Europeans in possession 
of indigo works; in 1793 the number of 
factories had increased to nine, situated 
at Daudpur, Saraiya, Dhuli, Ottur (Athar), 
Shahpur, Kanti, Motipur, Deoria, and 
Banaria; and by the year 1803 altogether 
twenty-five factories had been established 
in Tirhut. During these early days the 
industry was directly fostered by the East 
India Company, and special permission 
had to be obtained by Europeans wishing 
to engage in it. In 1802, however, the 
Board of Directors passed orders that no 
further advances or pecuniary encourage- 
ment should be given to planters, as the 
large profits obtained from the sale of the 
product made such aid unnecessary. 


Indigo accordingly became an inde- 
pendent and self-supporting industry, the 
pioneer planting industry in Bengal. 

Its progress in Tirhut during the ne.vt 
few years was rapid, though there appear 
to have been many failures, probably 
owing to over-production. In a report 
submitted in 1 8 1 o, the Collector stated 
that, taking one year with another, the 
district seldom sent less than 10,000 
maunds of indigo to Calcutta for export 
to Europe; that 30,000 to 50,000 souls 
received their principal support from the 
factories; and that on the average each 
factory disbursed from Rs. 25,000 to 
Rs. 30,000 per annum in hard cash to the 
labourers and cultivators for some miles 



round the various concerns. He estimated 
that in this way not less that six or seven 
lakhs of rupees were circulated every year 
by the planters in Tirhut, and urged that 
the advantages of the industry to the 
labouring classes were so great that 
Government should encourage it in every 
possible way. " Let the speculator win 
or lose," he wrote, " acquire a princely 
fortune or die a pauper, the district is 
equally benefited by his industry, and liis 
struggles for prosperity do rarely suc- 
ceed. Some of the planters succeed, 
but the majority of them fail." Diffi- 
culties appear to have arisen later through 
the competition of rival concerns, and 
in 1828 the Collector represented that 
indigo cultivation had extended so greatly 
that some restriction upon it was desirable 
for the benefit of the district. " From 
the misunderstanding," he wrote, " which 
has prevailed and still prevails among the 
European planters, disputes with one 
another are of very frequent occurrence: 
disputes have, however, of late occurred 
through descendants of Europeans em- 
barking in indigo cultivation, worked 
chiefly, if not entirely, by native agency. 
For the peace of the district and welfare 
of the established planters, it therefore 
appears highly desirable that the Govern^ 
ment restrictions regarding the erection of 
factories by Europeans should be extended 
to the descendants of Europeans, and 
power be vested in the magistrate to pre- 
vent engagements for the cultivation of 
indigo plant by other than the proprietor 
or proprietors of one established factory." 

In 1850 there were no less than 86 
factories in Tirhut, several of vvhi,h were 
used for the manufacture of sugar, but 
about this time sugar was finally super- 
seded by indigo as the European industry 
of the district, and many refineries were 
converted into indigo concerns. Difficul- 
ties were at one time threatened by the 
feeling of tension between the ryofs and 
the factories, produced by certain abuses 
whi'.h had crept into the system of culti- 
vation; but the danger was averted by 
the planters themselves, who, in 1877, 
formed the Behar Planters' Association in 
order to put matters on a satisfactory 

The Behar Planters' Association, as far 
as can be ascertained, is the senior asso- 
ciation in the Province of Behar and 
Orissa. .\s there evidently was an asso- 
ciation of some sort in 1801, certain by- 
laws were framed and agreed to on the 
22nd of February in the same year, while 
on the 4th of June, 1837, another code 

was drawn up to be observed by planters. 
The Indigo Commission in Lower Bengal 
in the year i 860 were evidently of opinion 
that indigo planting in Behar was carried 
on satisfactorily, as paragraph 135 of that 
report says: " We should recommend the 
planters to consider seriously whether a 
system on the basis of that existent in 
Tirhut be not feasible, i.e. the crop should 
be valued on the ground and paid for on 
an estimate there and then made upon 
classification of the crop." In the early 
seventies constant complaints were lodged 
in the Criminal and Civil Courts, and the 
leading planters of that time were deter- 
mined to do their best to remove the 
abuses and blots on the system, and after 
consultation with the Bengal Government, 
the Behar Indigo Planters' Association 


was formed, the constitution being a paid 
general secretary, an honorary general 
committee, consisting of four members 
each from the districts of Mozufferporc, 
Chumparun, Durbhanga, and Sarun, a 
district committee of nine members for 
each of the four districts [one who acted 
as hon. secretary), and the Calcutta 

The Government of Bengal in their 
letter No. 3,987, dated August 29, 1877, 
to the Government of India, in paragraph 
12, state: " In reference to the final para- 
grajjh of your letter 1 am to say that as 
long as the .Association show their present 
willingness to meet the Lieutenant- 
Governor's views and get rid of tlie 
obvious blots on the system, the 
Lieutenant-Governor has no intention of 
interfering in any way or of doing any- 
thing which can hamper the planters in the 
conduct of their business. All he desires 
is that the law should be strictly obeyed, 
and that indigo planting should be carried 
on like other commercial enterprises with- 
out such frequent complaints over the 
necessity for executive interference which 
have hitherto characterized it." 

The Government of India, replying to 


the Government of Bengal, in their 
letter No. 321, dated December 17, 
1877, said: " In reply 1 am to say that the 
Lieutenant-Governor's action in reference 
to this question appears to the Governor- 
General-in-Council to have been very 
judicious, and will, His Excellency-in- 
Council hopes, prove successful in putting 
a stop to, or at all events greatly diminish- 
ing the abuses which have prevailed in 
the system heretofore in force in Behar. 
His Excellency-in-Council also cordially 
aiknowledges the praiseworthy efforts 
made by the leading planters in the 
direction of reform, and concurs with the 
expression of the Lieutenant-Governor's 
satisfaction herewith quoted in paragraph 
I 2 of youi letter." 

The Association has loyally adhered to 
its bond made with Government, and 
whenever complaints were brought to its 
notice with reference to any member's 
dealings with his mallicks, ryots, or 
brother planters, which were not in ac- 
cord:uice with the Association rules and 
by-laws, matters were immediately put 
right, and it has been recorded over and 
over again in Government Reports that 
the Beliar Planters' Association has been 
of considerable help in the administration 
of North Behar. In the general survey 
and settlement Report of the Mozufferpore 
district, paragraph 907, page 354, the 
following words appear: "The agricul- 
tural classes, however, have the more 
tangible advantage of knowing the 
ordinary indigo planter to be a good, con- 
siderate landlord, and it is an axiom of 
the Association that the successful culti- 
vator is one on good terms with his 
tenants. The general tone in this respect 
is thoroughly sound and good, and the 
Government, the indigo community itself, 
and the cultivators, are largely indebted 
to the Indigo Planters' Association for its 
introduction, as well as for the cordial 
relations that exist between indigo 
managers and the lo;al administration. 
Ihe peace and contentment now existing 
is in strong contrast with the relations 
which prevailed before the .'\ssociation 
was founded." In the Bengal Annual 
Report of 1871-2 we read: "During the 
Lieutenant-Governor's visit to North 
Behar he was in some places met by 
crowds making complaints regarding 
indigo cultivation in a way that had not 
occurred to him in other districts, but 
almost all these complaints had reference 
to one somewhat overgrown factory. The 
whole subject is one which requires care- 
ful management, as very little action, or 


even a few words, might cause great com- 
plication on one side or other. On the 
one hand the Lieutenant-Governor would 
be very unwilling to injure one of the most 
prosperous and profitable industries in the 
country, and on the other hand he is 
inclined to think indigo has already occu- 
pied as large a proportion of certain 
descriptions of soil in the densely popu- 
lated district of North Behar as is desir- 

This extract and similar ones which 
might be produced from the reports of 
the following years indicate a degree of 
tension between the factories and their 

the Behar Indigo Planters' Association, 
deserves our special acknowledgments for 
advice and co-operation." The final 
Report of the survey and settlement opera- 
tions in the district of Monghyr-North 
(1906), para. 341, has the following: "It 
was not to the planters' interest to enliancc 
rents or harass the tenants in any other 
way, and hence here as everywhere in the indigo planter as tllikada has 
been, as a general rule, a most considerate 

On April l, 1905, the Viceroy, Lord 
Curzon, in reply to an address of welcome 
at Pusa from the Behar Planters' Associa- 


ryots, yet the area under indigo has very 
largely increased since Sir George Camp- 
bell published the remarks above quoted. 
Indigo planters of younger generations 
would do well to remember that it was 
their Association, which accomplished these 

" Paragraph 908. — My general conclu- 
sions then are that the indigo industry 
confers a very natural benefit pn the 
district, it has saved many a proprietor 
from inevitable ruin; it has brought im- 
mense profits to the poorest and most 
depressed portion of the population, and 
the political and administrative advantages 
that occurred to the Government cannot 
admit of question." In the final report 
of the survey and settlement of the Chum- 
paran District 1893 to 1899, para. 624, 
it is recorded that, " outside the depart- 
ment, Mr. Macnaghten, the secretary of 

tion said: " One needs but small acquaint- 
ance with Indian history to know that the 
indigo planter here represents the pldest 
British industry in rural Bengal, that the 
enterprise has given employment to hun- 
dreds of thousands of inhabitants of the' 
country, and that their famous and tra- 
ditional loyalty has for nearly half a cen- 
tury presented to the Government one of 
the finest volunteer regiments in India, by 
some of whose members I had the honour 
of being escorted to-day, and who carried 
the name of Behar and of its Light Horse 
to glory on the battlefields of the 

The Viceroy, Lord Minto, in reply to 
an address of welcome from the Behar 
Planters' Association at Bankipore on 
February 7, 1906, said: " Perhaps you 
will allow me to say I have heard of the 
planters before this; I have heard of 

them as country gentlemen of the right 
sort, and good men of business, and I 
think they will not object to my saying as 
hard riders and good sportsmen also." 

" Vou may well be proud of the con- 
tingent you sent to South .Africa which did 
so well there, and material such as that 
of which you are composed, drawn from 
men accustomed to the evcry-day experi- 
ence of an outdoor life, will in my opinion 
always be invaluable to the leader of 
mounted troops." In reply to an address 
of welcome from the Behar Planters' 
Association to His Excellency the Viceroy, 
at Bankipore, on December i, 19 13, Lord 
Hardinge said: " You have played an 
important part in making Behar, and 
specially Tirhut, the prosperous country 
it is "; and again: " By working as mem- 
bers of local and district boards and 
giving your time to the ' Punchayats ' in 
the chowkidari union you are contributing 
to the progress and well-being of the 
people among whom you live, and are 
identifying yourself with their interests, 
while those among you who are helping on 
the furtherance of the system of co-opera- 
tive credit are rendering great services ic 
the agricultural classes by showing them 
the way to shake themselves free from 
debt and lift the condition of their life to 
a higher plane." 

In closing a conference held at Dar- 
jeeling on May 9th and i ith, 1910, His 
Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, the late 
Sir Edward Baker said: "The present 
conference had again brought out the 
value of the Behar Indigo Planters' Asso- 
ciation to the industry in Behar, without 
whose assistance it would have been diffi- 
cult, if not impossible, for Government to 
have arrived at an arrangement in a satis- 
factory manner to all parties. Confidence 
had been reposed in the planters who in 
the recent disturbances had behaved ex- 
ceedingly well in spite of the danger in 
which they were placed, and His Honour 
desired to express again his hearty appre- 
ciation of the forbearance, self-restraint, 
and good temper which they had exhibited 
in circumstances of difficulty and even 

In 1897 the placing of synthetic indigo 
on the markets of the world was a veritable 
bolt from the blue on the indigo planter 
of Behar. The Association at once took 
up the question of research, andJ nothing 
has been left undone in their endeavours 
to save the industry. The financial por- 
tion of the work has been heavy, as from 
June 1898 to November 191 5 a sum of 
Rs. 8,04,119 has been spent, including a 


• Government grant of Rs. 4,72,661. The 
highest award possible was granted for 
this display of indigo at the British- 
Japanese Exhibition at Shepherd's Bush 
in 19 10, while a similar honour was 
received at tlic Coronation Exhibition in 
London in 191 i. The Behar planter, witli 
true British grit and determination, though 
doing all in his power and straining every 
nerve for the preservation of the indigo 
industry, has turned his attention to sugar, 
tobacco, flax, and other crops, and the 
planter of to-day is more of a general 
farmer than a specialist in indigo only. 
The Association, keeping its primary and 
main object in view, has however, changed 
its constitution in order to meet new con- 
ditions and so as to bring into membership 
not only indigo planters but those who 
produce sugar or other crops. In February 
1905 the Behar Indigo Planters' Asso- 
ciation became the Behar Planters' Asso- 
ciation and a limited liability company was 
formed ; directors appointed in propor- 
tion to the total votes of each district (but 
not to exceed sixteen in number), taking 
the place of a general committee, and dis- 
trict directors superseding district com- 
mittees. The annual general meeting 
elects the general secretary, who is paid 
an annual salary, while the directors elecX 
their chairman and vice-chairman every 
year. There are standing committees for 
" legal subjects," " indigo," " sugar," and 
" other crops," and each of these deals 
with its own particular subject, and also 
elects its chairman and secretary. Under 
Lord Moj-ley's scheme of enlarged legis- 
lative councils the Secretary of State 
allotted one seat to representatives of 
indigo or tea, and at the first Bengal 
Council the seat was taken by a tea- 
planter. The Behar planters, however, 
had one of their number on the Council, 
who was unanimously elected by the 
District Boards of the Tirhut Division to 
represent them, and as the majority of the 
members of district boards are Indians, 
it is a proof of the confidence of the 
mallicks and ryots of North Behar in 
the Association that they returned their 
general secretary. When the new Pro- 
vince of Behar and Orissa was created, a 
seat was allotted to the Behar planters, 
and their present general secretary repre- 
sents them on the Council. In considera- 
tion of the stake they hold in the country 
of their adoption, the Behar planters 
asked for a seat on the Imperial Legis- 
lative Council, but this request has not yet 
been granted. Several of the estates are 
now managed by the third and fourth 

generation of descendants of pioneers, and 
tenants fly to the factory manager with all 
their troubles in times of stress, or for 
medicine for themselves, their families, or 
their cattle. The planter settles innumer- 
able differences between them; he is in 
thorough touch and sympathy with the 
people among whom he spends his life, 
and in times of natural calamities such 
as famine, floods, or out-breaks of cholera 
and other fell diseases, his help is most 
valuable, not only to the people them- 
selves, but to the Government, in seeing 
that there is no waste of public money and 
that funds are properly distributed. He 
has, previously to the establishment of the 


large councils, studiously held himself 
aloof from politics, and now only takes 
part in them that his voice may be heard 
in connection with any measures calculated 
to raise the status of the people, or to 
advance the interests of the Province, 
and to support with all his power the 
supremacy of the British Raj and loyalty 
to the King-Emperor. In no part of India 
are there more cordial relations existing 
between Europeans and their Indian 
neighbours of all classes, and the agitator 
has signally failed to stir up racial ill-feel- 
ing between them. The best British tra- 
ditions are still existent in North Behar, 
and in proof of this it may be observed 
that when the election of the District 
Board representative took ])lace for the 
Behar and Orissa Council in 19 12 the 
planters of Behar did not put forward a 
candidate but gave their full support to 
an Indian who had been a member of the 
Bengal Council and who was eventually 
returned unopposed. Individual planters 
can and have done much, but had it not 


been for the existence of the Behar 
Planters' Association and the members 
thereof working in a body as fair-dealing 
English gentlemen, the planting com- 
munity of Behar would not hold such an 
exalted position as it does in the esteem 
of the people and the Government of the 

In the year 1877 no fewer than sixty- 
eight concerns were represented in the list 
of members, and in 1914, despite the hard 
times the industry had to face, the number 
was sixty-six. 

The late (afterwards Sir) William Hud- 
son, K.C.I.E., was general secretary from 
May 15, 1878, to February 3, 1890, when 
he resigned, and the late Mr. E. R. Mac- 
naghlen held office from the last-men- 
tioned date to January 28, 1905, when 
he died. 

Mr. T. R. Filgale, C.I.E., was ap- 
pointed to the vacant position on April 
27, 1905, and he still holds the reins of 
office. The late Messrs. W. A. Cox and 
C. R. Macdonald occupied the chair of the 
Association from 1905 to 1914, and the 
present holder of the office is Mr. D. J. 


Many of the indigo and other planters 
in Behar hold a similar position to that 
formerly occupied by owners of cotton 
concerns in the Southern States of 
America, as they have plenary powers 
of jurisdiction in disputes between 
Indians, but in many instances these 
honorary magistrates, as they may be 
termed, act in a friendly manner as arbi- 
trators rather than as strict adherents 
to the letter and not the spirit of common- 
law procedure. Mr. G. R. Macdonald, 
the manager of the Barrah Estates, Ltd., 
and of the Champaran Sugar Company, 
Ltd., has, through his long experience of 
Indians and their ways, gained the con-, 
fidence of the inhabitants of a very wide 
area, and his assistance in the settlement 
of matters is accepted with the greatest 

The area of the Barrah Estates — that is, 
the total sphere of the manager's control 
— is about 60,000 acres, but the part cul- 
tivated by the company directly consists 
of 3,000 acres of indigo, 2,000 acres of 
sugar, and about 1,000 acres of wheat, 
oats, barley, and tobacco. The balance 
of the land is let out to ryots,. The 
property is only a quarter of a mile dis- 
tant from the post and telegraph offices 


at Bara-Chakia, and a quarter of a mile 
from the railway station at Chakia. 

In regard to the early history of the 
estate, according to local tradition a fac- 
tory was built by a Mr. Stewart about 
the year 1820, and estate documents are 
still existent which show that indigo was 
in cultivation in the year 1828. The 
managers in the earliest days of the con- 
cern included Messrs. Stewart, Moran 
Henry Hill, Captain Hickey, Henry and 
Joseph Hill and H. L. Hollway. Mr. 
A. S. Urquhart was in power in 1857-8, 
and he was followed by Messrs. W. 
Gibbon, J. N. Macqueen, James Begg; 
F. J. Nicolay, E. A. Hickey, A. D. 
Bolton, John C. Gale from 1880 to 1892, 
D. R. Crawford from 1895 to 1903. and 
in November of that year Mr. Macdonald 
took up the reins of office. 

The outworks are Jagoulia, Mohojvah, 
Russclpore, and Gowandrah, and the 
average annual yield of indigo is about 
6J seers of the Sumatrana type and 10 
seers for that emanating from Java. 
There are very large pressing and drying 
houses on the concern, and the total vat 
capacity is about 70,000 cub. ft. 
Samples of the manufactured product 
are sent to London and Calcutta, and the 
bulk is sold in whichever place the best 
market prices can be obtained. 

The crushing of sugar was commenced 
in the year igo6, although it is known 
that a factory was erected between the 
years 1840 and 1850. The machinery in 
the mill at the present time is up to date 
in every respect, and it includes a crush- 
ing plant by Harvey & Co., of Glasgow. 
Manufacture is done by what is called 
the carbonation process. Limestone is 
placed in a kiln with coke, in the pro- 
portion of ten to one, and then burned, 
the carbonic gas being forced direct from 
the ki^ln through the tanks, this being 
the method of manufacture. 

The mill is able to deal daily for 100 
■days in the year with 300 tons of cane, 
which gives an average return of 8 per 
cent, of sugar to cane. There is a great 
demand for the sugar made, as caste 
prejudices are scrupulously observed in 
the processes of manufacture. Nearly 
the whole of the output is disposed of 
locally and to the Native States in the 

Cereals are grown on well-manured 
land, and the yields of the various crops 
are : wheat 18 to 20 maunds to the acre, 
and oats 15 maunds. Tobacco is only 
grown upon lands which are sub-let to 

The bungalow is a substantially built, 
handsome, and commodious structure, 
containing forty-four rooms, and it is 
surrounded by a large number of very fine 
old trees and neatly kept grounds. 

There arc three European assistants 
employed in connection with indigo, and 
about 200 native hands are required con- 
stantly, although the number engaged on 
piece-work or daily pay brings the total 
to about 1,500, while at the sugar factory 
there are two European assistants and 
350 coolies during the crushing season. 


India not been so much of a sealed 
book to Europeans who arrive at Bombay 
or Calcutta on a pleasure trip as it was 
three, or even two, decades ago, as places 
of interest can now be reached comfort- 
ably and with little loss of time owing to 
the greatly increased means of inter-com- 
munication. Railways have been opened 
in every possible direction. They wind 
along in serpentine fashion scaling moim- 
tains of intense beauty, and they span 
rivers which in earlier days were prac- 
tically insuperable barriers ; but it is to 
motor-cars and cycles that the tourist of 
to-day owes so much. The gharries and 
1>ullcck -carts of township and \illage were 
absolutely useless for sight-seeing in 
many districts, as distances were too 
great or the country was too broken, but 
now, thanks to modern progress, the 
traveller in his speedy and comfortable 
motor-car thinks nothing of a spin of 150 
or 200 miles, or of hills which it would 
be too much to expect any horse to climb. 

This latest method of getting about 
is now rendered more practicable from 
the fact that in every town of any size 
— and, indeed, in many villages — there are 
motor agencies in which repairs to cars 
can be quickly executed, and in which 
accessories and spare parts of all kinds 
may be procured. One of these in- 
valuable establishments is situated at 
Muzaflfurpur, in the district of Tirhut, 
and is known as the Behar Motor Works. 

It was established by the proprietor, 
Mr. H. W. Crane, in tlie year 1908, 
and the business has extended so rapidly 
since that date that considerable enlarge- 
ment of the premises has recently been 
necessary. Agencies are held for many 
of the leading cars now on the market, 
and the London representatives of Mr. 
Crane are ever on the alert to recommend 
and supply any improved car or fittings. 
Repairs are undertaken, under the super- 

vision of the proprietor, by skilled work- 
men, but constant employment is also 
found for about twenty Indian labourers. 



Indigo is one of the most valuable 
products of some of the districts in the 
Provinc.:: of Behar, but authentic records 
as to the earliest date when it was culti- 
vated by Europeans are not available. 
There is no doubt that it is the product 
of an indigenous Indian plant {/ndigofera 
tinctoria), and a reference to it as " In- 
dicum " by Pliny, who lived more than 
eighteen hundred years ago, proves that 
it was not unknown to early Roman 
writers. It is stated definitely in Indian 
history that when the Government of 
the year 1788 compiled a list of Euro- 
peans who were not occupying official 
positions in the district of Tirhut, in 
Behar, it was found that of twelve persons 
thus scheduled no fewer than ten were 
engaged in the planting of indigo. 

Mr. Minden Wilson in his most inter- 
esting handbook on the " History of 
Behar Indigo Factories" (1908) says; 
" In Germany in the seventeenth century 
indigo was denominated ' the devil's dyi . 
and by an Imperial edict its use was pro- 
hibited in A.D. 1654, as it appears to have 
caused a considerable decrease in the sale 
of wood, and Mr. Bancroft tells us that 
the Nurembergers exacted every year a 
solemn oath from the dyers to the effect 
that they would never have recourse to 
indigo as a dye. So little was the nature 
of indigo known at the time in Europe 
that the Elector of Saxony denounced it 
as a corrosive substance not fit for man 
or devil." 

The Belsund Indigo Concern, situated 
about thirty miles distant from Muzaffur- 
pur, in the district of Muzaffurpur, Tirhut, 
is interesting froin the fact that the 
Makurry lease of its factory is dated 
1794, and was given by Rajah Mustafifa 
Khan. Outworks were built at Bagwan- 
pore, Sukereah, and Boijnathpore in the 
year 1846, and at Belai in 1861, but the 
second and third named have since been 

The estate at ])resent comprises 4,500 
acres of cultivated land, consisting at the 
present time of 3,000 acres of indigo, 
1,000 acres of wheat, oats, and barley, 
and 500 acres of rice, although agricul- 
tural operations were commenced in 1794 
with indigo and sugar-cane alone. 

Mr. D. J. Reid became manager of 
the estate in the year 1903, but he sub- 





I AND 2. Wheat Ckop at Belsuxo. 3. Manager's Bungalow. 


4. Factory Bltluings. 



sequently purcliased a share in the con- 
cern, and since that time has been 
managing proprietor. Proof of the 
thoroughly systematic and careful manner 
in which the property has been managed 
is shown in the complete records disclosed 
by cash, ledger, and other books, from 
which some interesting particulars have 
been obtained. 

Owing to the competition of the 
synthetic product many indigo concerns 
in Tirhut have had to abandon the cul- 
tivation of indigo, but by the combination 
of indigo with the cultivation of cereals 
Belsund Concern has managed to weather 
the storm, and even in the worst of years 
has always managed to show a fair profit. 
In former days the estate had about 
6,000 acres under indigo, and although 
the area now has been reduced by half, 
the actual production of dye has not been 
proportionately affected, owing to the fact 
that in 1905 a new variety of indigo was 
introduced from Java. This variety of 
indigo was found to be particularly well 
suited to the kind of soil found in the 
Belsund estate, with the result that the 
return of dye per acre was increased by 
fully 50 per cent. During recent years 
also the quality of the indigo manufac- 
tured on the estate has been enormously 
improved, and from being one of the 
worst marks in the province it now ranks 
among the best. 

As is universally the case in Behar, 
the soil on the Belsund estate varies 
greatly. The best lands, of course, are 
always selected for wheat, and an average 
yield of about 16 maunc^s (1,280 lb.) is 
obtained. Oats, which are generally sown 
on the poorer soils, average about 12 
maunds to the acre, and rice, which is 
all hand-planted, yields from 16 to 25 
maunds per acre. 

The bungalow at Belsund is an excep- 
tionally fine building, being built in the 
usual palatial style of most of the old 
factories in Behar. The nearest railway 
station is at Sitamarhi, thirteen miles dis- 
tant, and there is a post and telegraph 
office at Belsund itself. One of the 
features of the estate is an ample supply 
of water, which is a great blessing in 
years of drought, as it enables irrigation 
to be conducted over a large proportion 
of the cultivation. 

Two European assistants and some 
three hundred Indians are regularly em- 
ployed on the estate, although the latter 
are greatly increased when necessary. 


There is no more fertile soil in Behar 
and Orissa than that in the district of 
Champarun, but during recent years agri- 
culturists and villagers alike have suffered 
enormous damage owing to terrible river 
floods, and the Belwa estate, in that 
district, affords a striking instance of the 
overwhelming force of disadvantageous 
conditions over which the owners have 
no control. 

Mr. A. C. Amman, the managing pro- 
prietor of Belwa, has a sad tale to tell 
of the exceedingly severe losses which 
fell upon him and upon the inhabitants 
of many of the eighty villages under his 
control which are comprised within the 
area of the above estate. He points out 
that a considerable portion of the land 
between the Dwarda and Pandayi Rivers 
has always been subject to floods from the 
overflowing of these streams, but the 
waters have subsided in due course, and 
very little damage has been done. In 
October 19 15, however, a most disastrous 
flood occurred, which swept away villages 
and live-stock, destroyed harvested crops, 
rotted growing ones, and completely 
buried in sand some 75 or 100 acres of 
rich agricultural land, and Mr. Amman 
maintains that " this was caused by the 
action of the Trebeni Canal and the 
Bengal and North-Western Railway em- 
bankments upon the volume of water 
discharged into the Belwa dehat (or 
neighbourhood) by an abnormal rain- 
fall." This canal, says Mr. Amman, 
" appears to be designed against all pre- 
conceived ideas. A canal is usually 
aligned to flow along the natural line of 
drainage of the country which it is re- 
quired to drain or irrigate, and there- 
fore it ordinarily runs parallel to the 
course of adjacent main rivers, with which 
it interferes as little as possible ; but the 
Trebeni one cuts across the watershed of 
the Nepal tarai, intersecting, almost in- 
variably at right angles, the innumerable 
hill streams and rivers which at intervals 
of distances of three miles form a network 
on the Champarun frontier, and constitute 
the natural drainage of the country. The 
recent frequency of floods in North Cfam- 
parun is due to the canal embankment 
(10 ft. in height), which dams up every 
petty rainfall until it accumulates, 
breaches the embankment, and, escaping 
as a flood, forms a huge lake, extending 
up the slope of the country for a third 
of a mile, submerging and rotting the 
crops and destroying homesteads. The 
railway embankment, too, crosses the 


natural course of the water-flow, divert- 
ing it and causing the ruin of villages 
and lands on the western side of the 
line." Mr. Amman estimated the damage 
done to eight or ten of his villages at 
Rs. 6i,ooo, and the loss at his own 
bungal; w, buildings, and bazaar at 
Rs. I 5,000. 

The boundaries of the estate, including 
the villages, are the River Uriya, some 
twelve miles distant from the bungalow 
on the east, and the Masan stream, twelve 
miles to the west, while the north and 
south limits are respectively nine and four 
miles distant. 

.■\bout three hundred acres are culti- 
vated on behalf of the proprietors, and 
the principal crops are rice, Indian corn, 
yellow mustard, wheat, barley, and gram, 
while a quantity of indigo is grown for 
the purpose of obtaining good seed, which 
at the present time is in very great 
request throughout the Province of Behar 
and Orissa. 

Rice, which is the chief product, fre- 
quently gives a return of 35 maunds to 
the acre, but a fair average yield for the 
whole crop is 17 maunds. .A mill has 
been erected at Bhiroganj, adjoining the 
railway station, and its eight hulling 
iTiachines, driven by two steam engines 
(by Marshall, Sons & Co.), are able to 
deal each day with 800 maunds of rice. 
This factory is known as the B.B.A. Rice 
Mills, and is owTied by Messrs. Bion, 
Broncke, and Amman, while Mr. R. S. 
Bion is managing proprietor. 

.\1I cereals give fair average returns, 
especially oats, which yield 1 7 maunds 
to the acre, and the bulk of these crops 
are grown chiefly for home consumption. 

Dealing in hides has in recent years 
been established as a branch business, but 
transactions are limited to local pur- 
chases and sales. 

Two bungalows, substantially con- 
structed of brick in the years 1901 and 
igio respectively, are most conveniently 
situated almost in the centre of the estate, 
and not more than a quarter of a mile dis- 
tant from the post and telegraph offices 
and railway station at .Amolwa, while the 
outbuildings, consisting of stables, ware- 
houses, and sheds for the housing of 
implements and the storage of general 
produce, are of a very superior character. 

Lessees on this estate pay annual rents 
at the rate of four rupees to the bigha, 
and their expenses of cultivation amount 
to Rs. 25, but the preparation of new or 
previously uncropped lands would cost 
fully Rs. 40 for the same area. The 


I, The Snows above thk Ramnagar Hiuu. a. Bklwa Hotsi;. 

3. View from Top of Bvxgalow. 





] M 


I. Rice Miu. at Bhairooang. 3. IxttRioR ok Rice Mat. 




bigha is not a fixed standard of measure- 
ment in the district of Champarun, as 
it varies very considerably in size, ranging 
from o"5i of an acre in the south, and 
increasing gradually in a northerly direc- 
tion, until at Belvva it represents about 
2i English acres. 

About thirty pairs of bullocks and five 
elephants are required for general work 
in the fields. 

Mr. Amman retains the management 
of the entire estate in his own hands, 
and he usually employs about fifty Indian 


The lease of this concern, dated 1834, 
was given to a Mr. Henderson, then 
manager of the Hatte-Oustee factory, 
whose right to build was challenged by 
Mr. John Gale, of Pundoul, as the latter 
gentleman claimed that Benipore was 
within the borders of his dehat. The dis- 
pute was settled by the two places being 
worked together until the year 1890, 
when Mr. G. N. Wyatt, who had become 
the owner of the whole concern, disposed 
of the Benipore portion to Mr. Percy 
Jones and others. At the present time 
(1916) the owners of Benipore are Mr. 
W. K. Dunsford (temporary managing 
proprietor), Mr. Percy Jones, and certain 
members of the latter's family, who cul- 
tivate about 2,000 bighas for their own 
use, while the area of the estate over 
which they have control measures six 
miles in length by about four miles in 
width. The productive portion ronsists 
of 100 bighas of sugar, 1,000 bighas of 
indigo, 150 bighas of wheat, 150 bighas 
of oats, and about 600 bighas of paddy. 

Indigo of the Java and Sumatrana 
types gives an average yield of about 
eight seers to the bigha, and the harvested 
crop is sent to the factory, which has a 
vat capacity of about 24,000 cubic feet. 
About 200 maunds of indigo are manufac- 
tured yearly, and the whole of this quan- 
tity is either shipped direct to London 
or sold in Calcutta. 

There is a small sugar-mil! at Benipore, 
which is capable of crushing 400 maunds 
of cane daily. The boiling process is 
carried out in open pans by means of 
six boilers, and after the product has been 
allowed 'to settle in tanks for a couple 
of weeks it is passed on to two centri- 
fugal manufacturing machines. Non- 
granulated brown sugar is also made, and 
a very satisfactory price is obtained for 
jt in local markets. The milling 

machinery includes a very fine boiler 
— using crushed cane as fuel — and it has 
a well-built chimney which is particularly 

A steam threshing machine is used for 
wheat, oats, and paddy, and an abundant 
supply of water for all purposes is ilerived 
from an adjacent river, upon which the 
owners possess riparian rights. 

The proprietors have about twenty- 
eight pairs of bullocks on the concern, 
but the ploughing and other agricultural 
work on the estate requires the use of a 
far larger number of oxen, and the latter 
are hired from the tenants. A good bull 
is kept by. the owners for stud purposes. 

of ordinary consumers of freshly-plucked 
fruit, but it is a somewhat serious matter 
for industrial concerns like the Bengal 
Preserving Company, who are unable at 
present to obtain a sufficient supply for 
manufacturing purposes. 

The business of this company was 
established by the proprietor, Mr. B. C. 
Sinha, of Muzaffurpur, in the year 191 o 
for preserving fruit, the principal kinds 
being mango, lichi, pineapple, and pear. 
The factory premises, covering about an 
acre of land, adjoin the owner's private 
residence at the above-named town, where 
he practises as a pleader, and they 
are equipped with modern machinery. 



A small market is held every Tuesday 
upon the property, which is twelve miles 
distant from the post office and railway 
station at Sakri. 

Practically all manufacturing is done 
at the outwork of Hursingpore, which is 
some four miles distant from the principal 

Mr. Dunsford, who has one European 
assistant, usually employs about a 
hundred hands. 


The varieties of fruits grown in the 
district of Muzaff'urpur are not so 
numerous as in some other divisions of 
Behar, and market reports show clearly 
that the quantity produced annually is 
considerably below the actual demand. 
This shortage is not only the experience 

obtained from New York, all of which, 
including the sterilization plant, is driven 
by steam. The annual output is about 
one hundred thousand bottles and tins, 
and large stocks of all kinds of preserves 
are kept in a very fine storeroom. An 
overhead tank holds a sufficient quantity 
of water for use throughout the factory, 
and the utmost cleanliness is observable 
in every branch of work. Tins to con- 
tain jam are made on the premises, and 
are packed for dispatch in boxes, each 
containing two dozen. 

Calcutta is the principal market for 
these goods, although a considerable 
quantity has been exported to London 
and the Continent of Europe, while still 
more recently consignments have been 
sent to the United States of America. 

The preserving season continues during 
the months of May, June, July, and 


2. Genekal View of Faciohv. 3. Cattle. 

4. Cane-crlshixg Mux. 



August, and about seventy hands are 
required during this portion of the year. 
A branch has been opened in Calcutta 
for the sale of jams, jellies, chutneys, and 
condinients of all kinds. 


The total area of land comprised in 
the Byreah Concern in the district of 
Chumparun is about 22,000 acres, and 

The original bungalow was built about 
the year 1885, but it was destroyed by 
fire, and another was erected in 1887. 
Adjoining it are an exceedingly pretty 
garden and ornamental grounds, in addi- 
tion to a large area planted with vege- 
tables, and the fine outbuildings include 
nice offices, a cake-house capable of hold- 
ing 1,000 maunds of indigo, and stables, 
built on arches, for fourteen horses. 

The whole of the land on the concern,. 

which are sent to Calcutta, are sold 

Byreah is situated in that portion of 
the district of Champarun known as the 
" old river country," which, prior to the 
construction of embankments, was fre- 
quently flooded, and low-caste Indians of 
the fisherman class, attracted thither for 
the purpose of earning livelihoods, are 
now employed as coolies by planters. 
.Mr. Hudson finds constant work for about 

I. BLXGA1.0W. 


2. Bamhuo AVEN'L'K. 

3. Factory. 

the portion cultivated direct from the 
factory consists of 1,200 acres of indigo, 
600 acres of oats, 200 acres of barley, 
sugar-cane, and native produce, together 
with 70 acres of tobacco grown upon land 
which is leased to native tenants. 

It is ascertained from early historical 
records that the factory was erected in 
1884 by Mr. C. F. Carlton, who was 
manager from that year until 1890, and 
again from 1891 to 1894, when it was 
sold to Mr. H. Hudson, who placed Mr. 
W. A. Cox in charge. Mr. H. E. 
Hudson, the present proprietor and son 
of Mr. H. Hudson, managed the concern 
in 1905, and Mr. H. C. M. Gale has had 
control of the concern since 1 9 1 1 . 

including the outwork at Nowton, four 
miles distant, consists of first-class soil, 
upon which irrigation is unnecessary, and 
the average yields of all crops are most 

Java indigo is grown at Byreah, as 
it has been found to be more suitable 
than the Sumatrana variety, and a return 
of about 14 seers to the acre may usually 
be relied upon. An ample supply of 
water is pumped from a lake to the fac- 
tory, in which steam power is used, and 
the manufactured produce is either 
shipped direct to England or is disposed 
of in Calcutta. The total capacity of the 
vats at the two places is 36,000 cub. ft. 
Other crops, with the exception of oats, 


250 of these under the supervision of 
Mr. Gale and one European assistant. 

Some sixty-five pairs of bullocks are 
kept for cultivation of the land, and the 
modern farming machinery and imple- 
ments, including a steam threshing 
machine, are kept in good working order . 
by labourers attached to the carpentering 
and repairing shops on the concern. 

Byreah is six miles distant from the 
railway station and post and telegraph 
offices at Bettiah. 


Permission was given by the East 
India Company for the erection of an 

Bhicanpore Blxgalow. 

2. SfGAR Factory. 3. Vats at thk Japaha Indigo Factory. 

4. Manager's Busgalow, Japaha. 


I. Stkam Plough Exgixf, 

2. Cane CKOr. j. Evaporatixg Pans. 

4. Skollkk C.wk Ckishixg Mul. 



indigo factory at Bhicanpore, in the dis- 
trict of Tirhut, in the year 1819, and the 
letter addressed by the Commissioners 
of the Company to a Mr. Cahill author- 
ized him " to hold 50 bighas of land " 
required by him for that purpose. The 
property now comprises 5,000 acres, the 
productive portion consisting of 2,000 
acres of sugar-cane, 1,500 acres of indigo, 
and 1,500 acres of wheat, barley, oats, 
mustard, and other crops. 

The land has been thoroughly well 
ploughed with steam tackle, and enriched 
by being manured with a crop of green 
flax turned in, with the result that the 
concern verifies the truth of the adage 
that there is nothing in the world more 
grateful for good treatment than the 

Dealing first of all with sugar, which 
occupies the largest area of the concern, 
it is observed that the cane is sent in 
carts to the cane carrier and conveyed to 
the splitting, crushing, and roller-mills, 
the refuse being elevated to boilers and 
subsequently used as fuel for raising 

The juice is pumped tlirough bo.xes of 
sulphur fumes prior to being heated, and 
it is subsequently passed on to the defica- 
tion plant, from which the clarified juice 
is transferred to eliminators for the re- 
moval of more impurities, the latter under 
pressure being passed through press 
filters. Following upon these measures 
the product is pumped into settling tanks, 
from which the juice is filtered through 
Taylor's filters and then through Har- 
vey's " Triple " evaporator, leaving those 
as a clarified syrup, which is boiled in the 
vacuum pans and converted into sugar. 
The syrup leaves the pans as a mixture 
of sugar and molasses, going into a 
receiver with agitators which keep it in 
motion, and from there it is charged 
into the centrifugal machines, when the 
molasses is separated from the sugar. 
The latter is then conveyed by the use 
of elevators to the sugar floor, and after 
passing through a drier it is either 
crushed or kept as grained sugar, accord- 
ing to the demand, and is then packed 
in double gunny bags containing 200 lb. 

A considerable quantity of the output is 
sold locally, but the greater portion is 
consigned to the Punjab and the North- 
western Districts. 

The season for crushing cane extends 
from December to April, and the average 
yield of sugar is i ton to 14 or 15 tons 
of cane. 

The sugar factory and an excellent 

sugar store (which cover eight acres of 
land, and are erected on the banks of a 
beautiful lake, from which a good supply 
of water for all purposes can be obtained) 
are commodious buildings, constructed 
of brick, and equipped with excellent 
machinery, which is able to crush about 
three hundred tons of cane in a day of 
twenty-four hours. 

The head indigo factory is at Bhican- 
pore, where there is a very fine bungalow, 
charmingly situated in a nice garden, and 
occupied by Mr. G. L. Richardson, the 
managing proprietor. There are also 
four out-factories (indigo), managed by 
European assistants, and sugar-cane and 
indigo grown at these places and at the 
head factory are sent by cart to the sugar 


The Chitwarrah concern is a portion 
of an estate in the district of Muzaffarpur, 
belonging to an old indigo company 
whose headquarters were at Shahpore 
Mircha the mokararie pottah being dated 
in the year 1799, but it became a separate 
property about forty-five years ago, 
having been purchased by the present 
manager's father and other partners. The 
property now belongs to the estate of 
G. D. Blake, deceased, and is under the 
control of Mr. G. C. Blake, and is, 
roughly, about nine miles by four miles 
in extent, the greater portion of the land, 
being now a Zemindary, the ryots of the 
forty or more villages being tenants of 
the proprietor. 

The cultivation of indigo has always 
been the staple industry of the concern, 
but the factory was closed in 19 12 owing 
to unsatisfactory prices prevailing for the 
manufactured product. During the season 
of 19 1 5, however, a small quantity of 
indigo was again sown, and in the present 
year (19 16) about 850 bighas have been 
planted, the whole of the remainder of 
the estate being cropped by inatives with 
country produce. 

There are three old graves in the 
garden near the principal bungalow, one 
of them undated, but the other two bear- 
ing inscriptions showing the burials to 
have taken place in the years 1812 and 

Chitwarrah is about two miles distant 
from the post office at Mahuwa, nine miles 
from the telegraph ofiice and railway 
station at Bhagwanpore, and twenty-six 
miles from Muzaffarpur. 

The management of the whole estate is 


under the personal supervision of Mr. 


One has to look back to the early 
seventies of last century to obtain par- 
ticulars of the property which was the 
first portion to be purchased of the very 
extensive estate of Chowturwa, in the 
district of Champaran, now in the 
hands of Messrs. Broucke Brothers, as 
thikkadars in the Bettiah Raj. The late 
Mr. W. J. Broucke secured a considerable 
quantity of land at Bhurpurwa, in the 
district of Gorakpur, and other tracts 
have been obtained from time to time, 
until now, in 19 16, the area comprises 
a large stretch of country on the northern 
bank of the Naranie River, together with 
an area seven square miles in extent — 
known as Mudhbunny — situated on the 
western side of the Naranie River and 
running in a westerly direction to the 
Gorakpur border. 

The principal crops grown at Chow- 
turwa for a considerable number of years 
were sugar-cane, and various kinds of 
country produce, chiefly rice, oats, wheat, 
barley, maize, and huldi, were in evidence 
at Mudhbunny ; but the cultivation of 
cane has been discontinued in favour of 
indigo. Sugar was manufactured under 
what is known as the " country " system 
until 191 5, but the factory at Chowturwa 
has now been altered and equipped with 
machinery and plant to meet the new 
order of things. 

About 1,000 acres of the estate were 
planted with indigo during the season 
19 1 5- 1 6, and, if the present favourable 
prices for the product are maintained, the 
area under this crop will be very con- 
siderably extended. A new factory, 
designed on modern principles and 
equipped with up-to-date machinery, is 
now being erected at Mudhbunny. 

The question of the steps to be taken 
for the improvement of the various breeds 
of cattle in Bengal has been under the 
consideration of the Government of tfve 
province for the past twenty years, and 
although valuable suggestions on the sub- 
ject have been made in a Report by the 
Director of Agriculture of Bengal in 
191 5, the matter is one which must be 
eventually solved by individual breeders 
possessed of sound, practical common 
sense, who are prepared to spend both 
time and money in attaining the object 
in view. 

Messrs. Broucke take a deep interest 


3. Elephants, 3, Mi'ohbunny Bvkoalow. 

4, Elephants. 


I. SU(MK-MAKI\'». 


J. MAKK "BUCHIK." 3. BfUI.. 

4 AN'ii J, Farm Bulls. 



in this subject, and they now possess a 
herd of nearly 2,000 head of fine breeding 
cattle, descended from selected bulls 
which are allowed to run with the cows. 
' Heifer calves are reared for the main- 
tenance of the herd, but there is always 
an excellent demand for surplus male 

A flock of about 500 country-bred 
sheep is kept at Chowturwa, and, with 
a laudable desire to produce large-bodied 
animals able to give a fair weight of good 
mutton, the partners, about five years ago, 
imported from England a Hampshire 
Down ram, but, unfortunately, this sire 
succumbed to the intense heat of the dis- 
trict. Since that time other rams with 
large frames have been obtained from the 
Government Experimental Farm at Pusa. 
and from the Gorakpur and up-country 
districts, and it is hoped that better 
success may attend this venture. 

Rents are paid to the Zemindary by 
all the tenants of 40 to 50 villages on 
the northern bank of the River Naraniie, 
and about 25 or 30 larger ones on the 
southern side, and the crops grown by 
the ryots on these lands are disposed of 
in local bazaars. 

Messrs. Broucke take more than an 
ordinary interest in the welfare of the 
people residing on their estate, and 
among the numerous forms in which 
assistance is rendered to them, the first 
place must be given to a banking business 
which has been established solely for their 
benefit, whereby they are enabled to 
obtain temporary financial aid at a much 
cheaper rate than that which is demanded 
by the average Indian moneylender. 

Attractive bungalows have been erected 
at Chowturwa and Mudhbunny, and other 
buildings, including stables, stores, and 
sheds, are well constructed and possess 
all modern conveniences. 

The headquarters at each place are 
conveniently near to a railway station, 
and there are postal facilities at the fac- 
tory, and telegraphic offices at Bagaha 
and Lowria, ten and twelve miles respec- 
tively distant from Chowturwa. 

The estate is controlled by three 
brothers — namely, Messrs. P. Broucke, 
who resides at Mudhbunny; L. Broucke, 
at Bhurpurwa; and W. W. Broucke, who 
lives at Chowturwa and is manager of 
the whole property. 


Indigo was somewhat extensively grown 
in former years at Ryam, in the district of 

Darblianga. which is within the dehat of 
180 square miles under the control of 
Mr. C. R. Clayton-Daubeny, but since 
the cultivation of that plant was discon- 
tinued the whole of the estate has been 
dealt with on the Zemindary system, a 
portion of the land being devoted to the 
production of sugar-cane, rice, wheat, 
barley, linseed, and other crops. The 
registered office of the company is at 
1 23/1 Halsey Road, Cawnpore, the 
capital and debentures are Rs. 4,00,000 
and Rs. 3,00,000 respectively, and the 
managing agents in India are Messrs. 
Begg, Sutherland & Co., of Cawnpore. 

The total area under sugar-cane of the 
Bhuri variety is about 5,000 acres (in- 
cluding 400 acres belonging to Mr. 
Clayton-Daubeny personally), and a fair 
average yield is about 10 tons to the 

The company have erected a very sub- 
stantial 400-ton mill, and it is fitted 
with a most up-to-date plant (by Messrs. 
Mirrilees, Watson & Co., of Glasgow), 
which is capable of turning out 25 tons 
of sugar daily during the season, from 
the 1st of December to the 3 ist of March, 

Limestone, required for the carbonating 
process of manufacture, is obtained from 
Chunar, and is burned in the company's 
own kiln of modern construction, which 
is fitted with patent lifts not only for 
feeding the kiln with stone but also trans- 
ferring the crushed produce into the 
liming tanks. A special feature of the 
mill is that it is so designed that an 
individual may take up a certain position 
from which he can see the whole process 
of manufacture — that is, from the delivery 
of the cane and limestone into separate 
parts of the machinery until the moment 
when, all the various processes having 
been passed through, the sugar is cast 
out into the prescribed receptacles. The 
produce is thereafter put into a grinding 
machine, which reduces it to a pure white 
powder as fine as salt, and it is subse- 
quently used in the making of sweetmeats 
in the Native States and the Punjab. The 
whole of the manufacturing is done on 
the Swadeshi system,, under which a 
guarantee is given by the Government 
that no bones or other substances 
antagonistic to caste principles are used. 

An excellent supply of clear water is 
obtained from a lake, and all wastage 
is avoided, as, after it has passed through 
the factory it is allowed to flow in an 
open channel for a distance of 400 yards 
until it is cooled, when it is filtered and 
again employed in the vats. 


Mr. Somers Taylor, B.A., agricultural 
chemist to the Government of Behar and 
Orissa, recently conducted a series of 
investigations into the character and 
quantity of fibre, or refuse matter in 
cane, in several varieties of sugar-cane 
grown at Sabour, and one of those types, 
known as Java No. 33, has increased in 
popularity among planters by reason of 
its apparent suitability to the climatic 
conditions of Behar. Mr. Taylor found 
that the average quantity of fibre on this 
species was I 5' 5 7, and that the average 
fibre on megass was 488. 

A tabular report on the subject, in- 
cluding remarks' on the effect of different 
manurial treatments on the time of ripen- 
ing of cane, led Mr. Clayton-Daubeny to 
commence experiments at Ryam on a 
somewhat similar plan to that adopted 
by Mr. Taylor, .\bout three hundred 
Indian labourers are employed in the mill 
during the crushing season. 

There are stores which hold a very 
large quantity of sugar, and the molasses 
tanks (which were formerly used as 
indigo vats) have a capacity of 16,000 ft. 
Payment for cane is made to ryots 
according to the price of rab or gur, 
but as the sum averages about four annas 
to the maund the natives have no cause 
for complaint. 

Sugar is by far the most important 
crop at Ryam, although satisfactory 
yields of wheat and other cereals are 
usually obtained, while it is proposed to 
increase the area under paddy. A rice- 
hulling machine will in all probability 
be erected at an early date. 

All buildings at Ryam have been 
solidly constructed, and one cannot help 
noticing the efficient state of repair in 
which they are maintained. First of all 
there is the principal bungalow with its 
attractive lawns and gardens